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Mark King

Mark King

Mark King, a champion of Impressionism and the Ecole de Paris, was born in Bombay in 1931 of British parents. He is the product of an exotic and privileged upbringing in India, where he lived until the age of sixteen during the tumultuous last days of the British Raj. In 1948, following graduation from La Martiniere College in Calcutta, where his focus had been botany as well as art, King sailed to England to attend Bournemouth College of Art, having determined to pursue painting, sculpture, architecture and theatre design. He subsequently spent seven years as Resident scenic designer at the Oxford Playhouse Theatre, but in 1961 decided to concentrate on painting and moved to Paris to study at the Ecole and the Louvre.

King follows in the footsteps of Courbet and the Impressionists, painting what he sees, such as the familiar streets, monuments and quarters of Paris. King never fully defines his seductive faces and figures, which he often shows from behind, as if they too were silent observers like himself. Passionate about horses since his youth, King’s animated depictions of polo and the fox hunt derive from personal experience. His interest in big game dates from India, where elephants and camels roam the streets and tigers and other large cats can easily be seen in their natural habitat. In addition to King’s fascination with the fauna of Central Asia, he has also retained a keen fascination for the flora of the region as well as botany in general, which he incorporates into his compositions. Since his arrival in the United States, as King became more exposed to sports, he capitalized on the drama and visual spectacle of ice hockey and horse racing, as well as his love of the out-of-doors by treating subjects like yacht racing, golf and tennis from a seascape or landscape point of view.

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