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Peter Darach


Peter Darach (1940-2023) was born in Derbyshire and studied at the Royal College of Art from 1962-65.

Darach’s crowded, figurative works are characterised by their large scale, charcoal washes and intense surges of colour. For decades Darach has admired and collected Japanese shunga prints and identifies the influence they have had on his practice. Each work emits a sense of all-encompassing urgency as faces emerge and dance across the scene. Darach is familiar with most of the figures in his paintings; many of them are friends, family members and mythical beings. These characters return, insistently and repeatedly to his work, always in new guises and predicaments. Each painting holds traces of memories that span a number of decades, making it hard to distinguish between recollection, fantasy and the unconscious. These intuitive, powerful works invite the viewer to contemplate the contemporary state of the world.

During his studies, Darach was included in the John Moores Painting Prize of 1963. He participated in 2 group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, in 1965 and 1979. The latter, Narrative Paintings: Figurative Art of Two Generations, included Peter Darach, Ken Kiff and Timothy Hyman as part of the generation of emerging artists and Ron Kitaj, Howard Hodgkin and Michael Andrews as established artists.


  • 2017 Peter Darach, Megan Piper, London
  • 2016 Inside Out, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester *
  • 1997 Jerwood Drawing Prize, (award) *
  • 1995 John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (award) *
  • 1983 Peter Darach: Me and My Family, Artspace Gallery, Aberdeen (toured to Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow and Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
  • 1979 Narrative Paintings: Figurative Art of Two Generations selected by Timothy Hyman, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (toured to Arnolfini, Bristol) *
  • 1965 Four Young Artists, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London *
  • 1963 John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool *
(* denotes a group exhibition)


Critics’ Choice: Peter Darach

Critics’ Choice: Peter Darach

Financial Times, Jackie Wullschlager
Tag: Peter Darach
Private View: Peter Darach

Private View: Peter Darach

The Art Newspaper
Tag: Peter Darach