Craig McPherson was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1948. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas in 1970, he spent the following years curating and lecturing for the National Endowment for the Arts. He was the director of the Michigan Artrain before taking up residence in New York in 1975 to develop his career as an artist.
McPherson's work has been exhibited in one-man gallery shows in New York, where he is represented by Forum Gallery, and in group shows all over the world. His body of work also includes a number of corporate and museum commissions. In 1998 he had his first museum retrospective at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. The show traveled to The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2008 McPherson was commissioned by the Frick Museum to create an exhibition reflecting the heritage of steel production in Pittsburgh as part of that city's 250th anniversary celebration. His most recent show at Forum Gallery "Steel/Stage" focused on images from heavy industry, experimental theater and theater interiors.
Since the mid-90's, McPherson has been working with a broad range of imagery including landscape, natural phenomenon, near abstraction and the human figure. He has combined metaphoric elements and performers from experimental theatre. The New York Times critic Ken Johnson called his 2001 show featuring a 60-foot pastel of water, "a spectacular tour de force." He wrote, "It verges on abstraction, yet produces an enveloping cinematically lush effect."
Craig McPherson's work is included in numerous museum, corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. These include The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The British Museum, London; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Art Institute of Chicago; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Boston Public Library; The Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh; The Cleveland Museum; Delaware Art Museum; The Detroit Fine Arts Institute; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; The Fogg Museum at Harvard; The Hunterian Museum, Glasgow; The Library of Congress; Minneapolis Institute of Art; National Gallery of Art, National Museum of American Art and The Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.; The New York Historical Society; Museum of the City of New York; The McNay Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Fine Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Wichita Art Museum and many other city and university collections. Corporate collections include Alliance Bernstein, American Express, Bank of America, Citicorp, Dreyfus, ExxonMobil, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, Marsh McLennan, MBIA, Microsoft, Wrigley's Inc. and others.
McPherson has won a number of art awards and honors, and has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Art in America, Artnews, The New York Post, The New York Observer and other publications.
1970 B.F.A. University of Kansas
SELECTED ONE-MAN EXHIBITIONS
2008 Steel: Pittsburgh Drawings by Craig McPherson, The Frick Museum,Pittsburgh, PA
2005 Steel/Stage, Forum Gallery, New York, NY (catalogue)
2000 New Work: Pastels, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
1998 Darkness into Light: Craig McPherson and the Art of Mezzotint, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow Scotland
1998 Mezzotints, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
1995 Smoke and Shadows: Recent Paintings, Mary Ryan Gallery,New York, NY
1993 Paintings and Works on Paper, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
1984 A.M. Sachs Gallery, New York, NY
1978 Gallery G, Wichita, KS
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2012 Five Decades: Art and Artists of Forum Gallery 1962-2012, New YorkUS House of Representatives, Committee on Energy & Commerce, Rayburn House Office BuildingAt the Heart of Progress: Coal, Steel, and Steam since 1750, Industrial Imagery from the John P. Eckblad Collection, venues include: The Bowes Museum, Yorkshire, UK; Le Bois du Cazier, Charleroi, Belgium; Les Dominicaines, Pont-l’Eveque, France (catalogue)
2011 A Passion for Prints: The John Bonebreake Donation exhibition, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OHTalking Walls: Murals Now, Cityspace, Charlottesville, VA75 Years of American Art, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS
2010 Sacred and Profane, Portsmouth Museum of Fine Arts, Portsmouth, NHSelections from the Permanent Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Wood Johnson GalleryAt the Heart of Progress: Coal, Steal and Steam since 1750, Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University, State College, PASacred and Profane, Portsmouth Museum of Fine Arts, Portsmouth, NHBig Paper Winter, Woodward Gallery, New York, NY
2009 Summer Selections, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
2008 2008 Collector’s Show, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
2007 The Contemporary Landscapes Show, Forum Gallery, New York, NYThe Fine Art of Drawing: Modern & Contemporary Works on Paper, Forum Gallery, New York, NYAn Eye for Detail: Works by Selected Artists, Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006 Born of Fire: The Valley of Work, Westermoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PennsylvaniaFire, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, ConnecticutImaging Industry: Pennsylvania Coal and Steel, Suzanne H. Arnold Gallery, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA
2005 The New York Yankees and The American Dream, The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FloridaAltered States, The Fitzwilliam Museum of Art, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England
2004-5 The Color of Night, The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum of Art, Rutgers UniversityFrom Goya to Johns: Fifty Master Prints from the McNay Art Museum, The Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TexasImpressions of New York: Prints from the New York Historical Society, New York Historical Society, New York, NY
2004 Contemporary Landscapes, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
2003 Contemporary Works on Paper, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
2000 New York, New York: Lester Johnson and Craig McPherson, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KSPrints and Drawings 1940 – 2000, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, HarvardUniversity, Cambridge, MARecent Drawings: Lita Albuquerque, Ward Davenny and CraigMcPherson, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NYGale Gates et al, art exhibition, Brooklyn, NYParty! A Festive Look at Celebration in the 20th Century, Mary RyanGallery, New York, NY