Biography of Brian Rice

Portrait of Brian Rice

Brian Rice Chronology

1936 Born Yeovil, Somerset

1952 Yeovil School of Art (YSA). Cycling tour of Cornwall. First visit to St Ives.

1954 Began NDD course at YSA. Made first Lithographs. Cycling Tour of Wales.

1955 NDD course, studying Illustration, Textile Printing and Oil Painting from the model.

1956 Completed NDD examinations. Left Yeovil School of Art (July). National Service with Royal Army Service Corps (RASC), Aldershot (September). Trained as a Tactical Sketcher along with other former art students (drawing and copying maps).

1957 Stationed at Aldershot. Travelled around England cycle racing for the Army and RASC.

1958 National Service ended September. Began Teacher Training Course at Goldsmiths College, London. Visited London Galleries, theatres, and concerts at Royal Festival Hall.

1959 At Goldsmiths College – Relief Printing with Paul Drury, Lithography with Bernard Cheese, Ceramics with Gordon Baldwin and Textile Printing with Robert Brazil. Made three oil paintings. Toured Cornwall on scooters with Derek Boshier and Mike Bisley. Stayed in St Ives and Tintagel.

1960 Shared a flat in Earls Court, London with Derek Boshier and John Selway. Exhibited early abstract paintings in Yeovil Artists Exhibition. Cycling in France and Spain. Met Derek Boshier and Peter Jones and crossed to Morocco, hitching southwards to the Sahara before returning to Gibraltar. Began a major series of paintings at parents’ home in Montacute, Somerset.

1961 Painting in Montacute and making lithographs at YSA. Following a review of Second Yeovil Artists’ Exhibition was offered a solo exhibition of paintings at the Fimbarrus Gallery, Bath.

1962 Moved back to London. Met Tony Evans. Became approved London County Council Evening Institute Instructor. Exhibited with the London Group, and at the Arnolfini Gallery Open Exhibition, Bristol. Met Mike Armitage who introduced Rice to Dennis Bowen director of the New Vision Centre gallery, London.

1963 Won runner-up prize in Arnolfini Gallery Open Exhibition. Exhibited at Forum Galleries, Bristol and prints at the Shelley Gallery, London. Prints purchased for the Government Art Collection.

1964 First solo exhibition at the New Vision Centre, London. Teaching pottery at an Evening Institute in Fulham, London. Second trip to Spain and Morocco.

1965 Second solo exhibition at the New Vision Centre. Sold prints to Eugene Schuster. Exhibited at the Commonwealth Biennale of Abstract Art, and Bradford Spring Exhibition. The New Vision Centre closed.

1966 Rice’s work was hired for magazine adverts and used in several film sets. Eugene Schuster bought more prints. Started lecturing at Brighton College of Art.

1967 Signed a contract to make editions of Screenprints for London Graphic Arts (LGA, Schuster).

1968 Solo exhibition of paintings at LGA, Detroit. Also in travelling exhibition, British Painters, Detroit and elsewhere in the USA.

1969 Started triangular colour system paintings. Made nine screenprints for LGA .

1970 Exhibited at La Citta Gallery, Verona, Italy; Diagramma Gallery, Milan; Gallery 1+1, Padova. LGA closed their London Gallery.

1971 Bought a cottage in Lyme Regis. Began working on the book The English Sunrise with Tony Evans.

1972 Publication of The English Sunrise.

1973 Disillusioned by colour system paintings, Rice began making series of photographic collages as a way of reassessing his career.

1974 Became Chairman of the Printmakers Council. Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

1975 Exhibition of Colour System paintings at Brighton Polytechnic, after which Rice stopped painting.

1976 Exhibited in The Process of Printmaking, a British Council Exhibition touring India.

1978 Bought Nallers Farm, Askerswell, Dorset with partner Diane Aubrey. Started sheep farming. Appointed External Examiner in Printmaking, North Staffordshire Polytechnic. Began converting derelict cowsheds at Nallers Farm into a studio. During the excavation for building work, Rice found a fragment of medieval dish with a Green Man motif. Liaised with local archaeologists over this and other finds including Bronze Age pottery.

1981 Started painting again in his new studio after a gap of seven years. Work based on the archaeology of the surrounding landscape.

1984 Living alone at Nallers Farm, which was put up for sale after split with partner. On the return journey from a cycle tour of Exmoor, Rice saw a derelict property for sale near Hewood. Bought Newhouse, Hewood, and moved in on Boxing Day.

1985 Still lecturing two days a week at Brighton College of Art (now Polytechnic). The rest of his time spent restoring Newhouse. Continuing active interest in archaeology.

1986 Made first paintings at Newhouse, based on Medieval Art.

1988 Made paintings using the Green Man motif.

1991 Made paintings using motifs from prehistoric archaeology and his own pottery finds.

1992 Made first print for ten years a large abstract linocut, ‘Ziger Zager’. Tony Evans died.

1995 Completed dummy of a new book, A Pictorial History of Santa Claus, published by Chatto and Windus. First solo exhibition of paintings and prints since 1975 at The Meeting House, Ilminster, Somerset.

1997 Began submitting work to open exhibitions and was accepted at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) Open Print Exhibition and the National Open Print Exhibition, London.

1998 Solo exhibition ‘Art and Archaeology’, Somerset County Museum, Taunton. Exhibited in the National Print Exhibition, London. Now exhibiting paintings with Gordon Hepworth, Exeter, and Michael Gacca at the Belgrave Gallery, St Ives. Holiday in Ireland, visiting New Grange and Dowth.

1999 Gordon Hepworth began taking Rice’s work to London Art Fairs. Exhibited with Innocent Fine Art, Bristol. Began making a new outdoor studio at Newhouse.

2000 Extensive exhibiting at London Art Fairs and Open Print exhibitions.

2001 Retired from lecturing at Brighton Polytechnic (now University). Riceâ’s major Retrospective Exhibition opened at Brighton University, curated by Professor Michael Tucker. Solo exhibition at Messum’s, Cork Street, London. Work featured on the cover of ‘Printmaking Today’, with an essay by Sara Hudston. Made first series of ‘Halla’ drawings.

2002 ‘Retrospective Exhibition’ toured to Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset (where it was filmed for BBC television news), and Plymouth City Art Gallery, Devon. Made series of large ‘Halla’ paintings. Christina Wahle (Wahle Contemporary Art) began taking Rice’s work to London Art Fairs.

2003 Solo exhibition of new large ‘Halla’ paintings at the Atkinson Gallery, Millfield, Somerset. Exhibiting with Francis Mallett at the New Street Gallery, Plymouth. Fashion show by Plymouth College students of clothes based on Rice’s paintings at Plymouth City Art Gallery. Tate Gallery purchased four prints.

2004 Started working on a series of Dot paintings. Appeared in BBC TV’s Time Shift documentary,’Art School’. Travelled to West Coast of Ireland, stayed at Cill Rillaig. Visited Skellig Michael and rock art pavements near Kealduff.

2005 Exhibited at the Somerville Gallery, Plymouth with Terry and Anthony Frost.

2006 Exhibited recent large paintings (including ‘Halla series’) at Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset. Andrew Starke and Sally Gimson take work to London Art Fairs.

2007 Solo exhibition Constructions 1963/4, Westbrook Gallery, London. Exhibiting regularly with the Belgrave Gallery, St Ives, as well as at London Art Fairs and other group shows.

2009 Solo exhibition of large ‘Halla’ paintings at the Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, and smaller recent paintings and prints at The Art Stable, Child Okeford, Dorset (Kelly Ross). Also included in ’50 Years of Abstract Painting’ at the John Davies Gallery, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire. Included in the exhibition ‘British Abstract Art’ at Katherine House Gallery, Marlborough. Visited Sicily and sought out prehistoric archaeological sites. Travelled to Carnac and Gavrinis, Brittany, visiting the prehistoric rock art sites. Began work on his catalogue raisonne of prints with Silvie Turner, initially for a website. Started Dot paintings and exhibited them alongside his partner, Jacy Wall, at several local venues.

2010 Solo exhibition at the Somerville Gallery, Plymouth, Devon. Exhibiting with Gwen Hughes Fine Art London, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives and Artizan Editions all taking work to London Art Fairs. Exhibited in ‘Post-War AbstractArt at the Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.

2011 Gray Contemporary and Modern Art now added to the list of dealers taking Rice’s work to Art Fairs. Catalogue Raisonne of Prints’ website launched. Started work on the book ‘Brian Rice: Catalogue Raisonne of Prints 1953-2013’ with Silvie Turner. Travelled to Malta, to look at prehistoric archaeological sites.

2012 Continued exhibiting. Work shown at London Art Fairs by Gwen Hughes and Ashley Gray.

2013 Concluded work on the book ‘Catalogue Raisonne of Prints’. Solo exhibition at L’Artishe Gallery, Swanage, Dorset. Exhibition of prints and launch of Catalogue Raisonne of Prints at Highgate Contemporary Art, London

2014 Brian Rice, Early Works 1959-1970 solo exhibition at Redfern Gallery, London. Began work on new book; ‘Brian Rice Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings, Drawings, Collages and Studies1952-2016. Exhibition of prints at Belgrave Gallery, St Ives. Very little painting activity. Catalogue Raisonne of Prints launch with an exhibition of prints at the Brook Gallery, Budleigh Salterton, Devon

2015 Exhibition ‘Palindrome: The Sixties Art of Brian Rice and Richard Rome’ at University of Kent organised by the Redfern Gallery with Kent University. Working on new paintings. Work continued on Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings.

2016 Paintings from 1961-62 exhibited at London Art Fair by Redfern Gallery and Waterhouse & Dodd. Publication of Brian Rice Catalogue Raisonne© of Paintings, Drawings, Collages and Studies 1952-2016 , edited by Silvie Turner, with essay by Andrew Lambirth in August 2016 to mark Riceâ’s 80th birthday. September, first book launch at The Art Stable, Childe Okeford, Dorset



Brian Rice, 2011, by Jacy Wall
Brian Rice, 2011. Photograph by Jacy Wall

Brian Rice, 2011. Photograph by Jacy Wall

Read more:

Brian Rice as Printmaker: Beyond Finality — a biographical essay by Tessa Sidey (PDF document).


Profile of Brian Rice by Sara Hudston — This essay was written to accompany a profile of BR in ‘Printmaking Today’ Vol. 10 No. 2, Summer 2001.

The essay was illustrated by four prints: ‘The Kings Tomb (P 114)’, ‘Radio (P068)’, ‘November (P051)’ and ‘Structure (P050)’. The print ‘Alhambra (P045)’ was illustrated on the cover of this issue.