DAVID MACH RA

WORKS/ BIOGRAPHY/ EXHIBITIONS/ BROCHURE
2013
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
2012
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
2011
Precious Light, Edinburgh City Arts Centre
2006
Elected to the board of the National Portrait Gallery
2004
First Visiting Professor of Inspiration and Discovery at the University of Dundee
2004
Made Honorary Member of the Royal Scottish Academy
2002
Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Dundee University
2000
Appointed Professor of Sculpture, Royal Academy Schools, London
1999
Visiting Professor, Sculpture Department, Edinburgh College of Art
1998
Elected Member of the Royal Academy of Arts
1992
Won Lord Provost’s Award, RGI, Glasgow
1988
Nominated for the Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London
1982
RCA Drawing Prize
1979-82
Royal College of Art (RCA), London
1978
SED major travelling scholarship
1977
SED minor travelling scholarship
1976
Duncan of Drumfork Travelling Scholarship
1975
Pat Holmes Memorial Prize
1974-79
Duncan of Jordanston College of Art, Dundee (Scotland)
1956
Born in Methil, Fife (Scotland)

Turner Prize-nominee David Mach has earned international acclaim through his unique ability to take mundane everyday objects and create something that is at once intense, provocative and completely unexpected. Born in Fife in 1956, Mach first caught the public’s attention with Polaris (1983), a life-size replica of a submarine made up of some 6,000 tyres assembled outside the Royal Festival Hall in London. The piece attracted considerable controversy at the time, perceived as a criticism of the nuclear arms race, with one individual even attempting to set it alight.

 

Mach’s ability to shock and overwhelm his audience with large-scale installations made of multiple mass-produced objects, is exemplified through his work with coat hangers, postcards and matches. Two of his most important pieces to date are Silver Streak, a monumental gorilla constructed entirely of coat hangers (Royal Academy, 2010 and Victoria & Albert Museum, 2011), and Bear in Mind, a life-size bear also made of coat hangers and displayed at The Landmark, Hong Kong in 2013. Mach has also worked extensively with postcards, contrasting their vibrant colours to produce vivid collages of some of the most iconic figures of recent history, including Chairman Mao, Vincent Van Gough and Marilyn Monroe.

 

Mach’s largest solo exhibition came in 2011 with Precious Light, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible that took more than three years to assemble. The exhibition combined installations, sculptures and collages, providing a modern representation of the best known biblical stories. Among the most shocking of these was “Golgotha”, comprising three figures on crosses, made entirely of straightened coat hangers as though their bodies bristled with spikes and their faces contorted in pain. The exhibition also saw the unveiling of two of Mach’s most famous match-head sculptures of Jesus and the Devil, built five times the sizes of a human head and constructed of thousands of different coloured matchsticks. True to Mach’s capacity to shock, each of the figures was set alight while on display, leaving charred and blackened versions of the originals.

 

Mach lives and works between London and Fife, regularly exhibiting at some of the most prestigious museums and galleries around the world. His recent exhibitions have been displayed at the Royal Academy, Victoria & Albert Museum and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, while he has also held multiple touring exhibitions across Europe. Mach’s many appointments include his election as a Royal Academician in 1998, made honoury member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 2004 and to the board of the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.