Biography

1947 Born in Glasgow
1969 Trained as a graphic designer, Cape Technical College, Cape Town
1970-76 Worked as a designer in advertising
1976 Creative Director of BBDO International, Cape Town; began painting and drawing
1976-77 Worked as a freelance illustrator in London
1977 Taught design at Cape Technical College, Cape Town
1978-79 Taught design and drawing, Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town
1983-95 Taught drawing and painting at the Department of Creative Arts, University of Stellenbosch
1992 Joined the Redfern Gallery
1996 Moved to England; gave up teaching to become a full-time artist
2007 Awarded first prize in the 'BP Portrait Award'
2009 Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint a portrait of Sir V.S. Naipaul
2010 Completed portrait of Nelson Mandela, now in the permanent collection of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Johannesburg
2013 First Official Portrait of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, London

Selected solo exhibitions

1981 University of Stellenbosch
1982 South African Association of Arts, Cape Town
1993 Sasol Art Museum, University of Stellenbosch
1994 Redfern Gallery, London 'Paul Emsley - Drawings'
1995 Redfern Gallery, London 'Paul Emsley - New Drawings and Paintings'
1996 Mary Ryan Gallery, New York 'Paul Emsley - Drawings'
1999 Redfern Gallery, London 'Paul Emsley - Recent Drawings and Paintings'
2011 Redfern Gallery, London 'Paul Emsley - Drawings'
2012 Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch 'Retrospective Exhibition, Woordfees Artist 2012'
2013 The Holburne Museum, Bath 'The Duchess of Cambridge by Paul Emsley'
2017 Redfern Gallery, London 'Paul Emsley: New Work'

Selected group exhibitions

1978-79 'South African Art' (touring U.S.A. and Brazil)
1979 Cape Town Biennial
1982 Cape Town Triennial
1985 Cape Town Triennial
1987 Standard Bank National Drawing Competition
Drawing Exhibition, University of the Orange Free State
1994 Gerhard Wurzer Gallery, Houston
Dickins & Rigg Gallery, Hong Kong
ARCO Madrid (with Galerie Levy, Hamburg)
Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery
1995 'Panoramas of Passage' (Exhibition of South African Art touring USA)
Johannesburg Art Gallery 'The Right to Hope (represented South Africa)
1998 Mall Galleries, London 'The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition'
1999 Royal Academy of Arts, London 'Summer Exhibition'
2000 Royal Academy of Arts, London 'Summer Exhibition'
Salon de Mars, Geneva
Mall Galleries, London 'The Discerning Eye' (selected by Emma Sargeant, Michael Parkinson, Colin Tweedy, and Dr. Sally Bulgin)
Mall Galleries, London 'The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition'
2001 Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 'First Painting Open'
Mall Galleries, London 'The Discerning Eye' (selected by Ken Howard RA and Sir Roy Strong)
Royal Academy of Arts, London 'Summer Exhibition'
Mall Galleries, London 'The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition'
2002 The Jerwood Drawing Prize (touring UK; selected by Marco Livingstone, Cornelia Parker, and Marina Warner)
2004 Balatro Gallery, Palm Beach
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 'Naked'
Mall Galleries, London 'The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition'
2005 Jill George Gallery, London
2007 Royal Academy of Arts, London 'Summer Exhibition'
2009 Royal Academy of Arts, London 'Summer Exhibition'
2012 Mall Galleries, London 'Sunday Times Watercolour Competition'

Awards

1987 Standard Bank National Drawing Competition [Merit Award]
2000 Royal Academy of Arts, London 'Summer Exhibition' [Bovis/Architect’s Journal Special Award]
2001 Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 'First Painting Open' [Commended]
Mall Galleries, London 'The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition' [Third Prize]
2002 Mall Galleries, London 'The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition' [First Prize]
2003 Mall Galleries, London 'The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition' [Third Prize]
2004 Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 'Autumn Exhibition' [UWE Drawing Prize]
2005 British Interior Design Association, Art London [Silver Award for Works on Paper]
2007 National Portrait Gallery, London 'BP Portrait Award 2007' [First Prize]
2008 Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 'Autumn Exhibition' [UWE Drawing Prize]

Publications

Lambirth, A., 'Paul Emsley: the Light of Meaning', London: Redfern Gallery, 2011 (ex. cat.)
Botha, A. and Emsley, P, 'Paul Emsley: Retrospective', Cape Town: Brundyn + Gonsalves, 2012
Roff, A. '500 Portraits: 25 Years of the BP Portrait Award', London: National Portrait Gallery Publications, 2015
'Paul Emsley: New Work', London: Redfern Gallery, 2017 (ex. cat.)

Collections

British Museum
Johannesburg Art Gallery
National Portrait Gallery. London
Nelson Mandela Foundation, Johannesburg
Northwestern University, Chicago
Sanlam Collection
Sasol Collection
South African National Gallery
University of the Orange Free State
University of Stellenbosch
University of the Witwatersrand
William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley