British illustration legend Paul Slater returns for his first solo exhibition after 8 years

Paul Slater, revered artist and illustrator whose eccentric work was bought by Heston
Blumenthal, Damien Hirst and many others, are preparing to exhibit their first solo exhibition in almost a decade. His new collection of unpublished works will be exhibited at the Catto Gallery in London in September.

This highly anticipated event celebrates Paul Slater’s unique place in contemporary British art. Throughout the 90s, his surreal and humorous illustrations were seen and loved by millions on the pages of The Week, The Listener and many other major publications. He has created original artwork for The Times and Daily Express restaurant reviews, decorating the pages of national newspapers and magazines as well as book jackets, album covers and award-winning advertisements.

Alongside his commercial work, Slater has always painted for himself. His style, a compelling blend of English seaside postcards, American Gilded Age magazine advertisements, and European surrealism, won him numerous awards and legions of fans. Among those who have purchased his works are Andrew Lloyd Weber, Damien Hirst, Richard Branson, David Gilmour and Louis Vuitton. In 2000 he became a patron of the Association of Illustrators, where he was named Illustrator of the Year in 1996 and won the Glenfiddich Visual Category Award in 2001 after being shortlisted for several years.

Slater learned his trade in an unusual way. He was brought up in working class Burnley without
knowledge of the formal art world with the exception of his father’s caricatures. Inspired by his father’s love of drawing, Slater went on to study at the London College of Art, where he was trained by towering figures of British illustration, including Quentin Blake and Sheila Robinson. Slater’s vivid imagination and immaculate technical detail have made his work highly sought after. However, just under a decade ago he decided to stop exhibiting. Since then he has only worked on occasional commissions, including murals for the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Tom Conran’s Cow Saloon Bar and Dining Rooms in Notting Hill, and Heston Blumenthal’s Melbourne Fat Duck Restaurant.

This makes Slater’s new exhibition with the Catto Gallery his first in over eight years. It will be
includes around 30 new paintings, each in its own unique absurdist satirical style. Slater says, “Over the past decade I’ve been painting non-stop. The ideas keep coming, even though I haven’t exhibited my work. The approach to the Catto came out of nowhere, and I felt it was time to put my paints back there. I’m very excited about this.

Iain Barrett, co-director of the Catto Gallery, adds: “We couldn’t be more delighted that Paul has accepted our offer to show his work again after so long. Throughout his life he went his own way. His work is weird. and dark and funny, but still beautiful – and people love it for that. Paul occupies a unique place in British contemporary art, and we are very proud to give him the showcase he deserves.”

Title: Paul Slater
Exhibition dates: Thursday September 8 – Monday September 26, 2023

Location: Catto Gallery, 100 Heath Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 1DP