Bruce McLean

Bruce McLean is a Scottish sculptor, painter, performance artist and filmmaker. He is one of the major figures of contemporary British Art, having led the development of Conceptual art in Britain in the 1960s. Working outside in the urban and suburban landscape, his work brilliantly sent up the pompousness of the art world and mocked established art forms.


McLean’s practice continues to be in a permanent state of movement and invention; from the late 1960s his range of media has included painting, printmaking, sculpture, film, photography, drawing and live work. His work seeks to challenge the concept of ‘sculpture’ and indeed of ‘art’ by creating work that questions establishment thinking, materials and methods of display. Now approaching his seventh decade McLean’s energy, vision and work ethic remain undimmed.


Bruce McLean (b.1944) lives and works in London. He studied at Glasgow School of Art (1961- 63) and St. Martin’s in London (1963-66), where he was taught by Anthony Caro. He was given a one day retrospective, King for a Day, 1972 at the Tate Gallery at the age of 27 and in 1985 was awarded the John Moores prize for painting. After St. Martin’s McLean went on to teach at numerous art schools, including The Slade School of Fine Art, where he became Head of Graduate Painting (2002-2010). McLean’s bold and confident approach to printmaking proved influential to his contemporaries and also to a generation of younger artists.


2014 saw two major exhibitions exploring his work: ‘Bruce McLean: Another Condition of Sculpture’ at Leeds Art Gallery, and ‘Bruce McLean: Sculpture, Painting, Photography, Film’ at First Site in Colchester. Both shows included works spanning five decades.

 McLean has had numerous solo exhibitions in both Europe and North America, and his work is included in private and public collections.