Derek Boshier b.Portsmouth, Hampshire 1937 -
Derek Boshier, with David Hockney and Allen Jones, was part of the 1959 intake at the Royal College of Art. The boredom of the previous few years of National Service in the RAF had been alleviated by reading such works as Marshal MacLuan’s The Medium is the Message and Vance Packard’s The Hidden Persuaders. In 1962, with other graduates of that establishment Peter Blake, Pauline Boty and Peter Phillips, he featured in Ken Russell’s BBC cult documentary Pop Goes The Easel. As with many of his contemporaries he was stimulated by the everyday world of advertising, packaging, pop music and magazines. However, his work was openly critical of the increasing Americanisation of English culture, the all-powerful multinationals, ad man and made concerned comments on the space race.
After graduating in 1962 with an Indian government scholarship he spent a year travelling the sub-continent producing paintings based on Indian symbolism. Returning to England he adopted a brightly coloured hard-edged geometric style abandoning figuration. At the 1964 The New Generation show held at the Whitechapel he exhibited large shaped canvases with vibrant areas of evenly applied colour. In subsequent years he has used metal, coloured plastics, even light, the materials of the commercial signmaker, to create three-dimensional objects. He has also experimented with books and film.
Currently he is living in California. Social commentary is still a major element in his work tackling head on subjects which have strong political overtones such as gun control, police brutality and once again, the multinationals - this time on home turf.