Luke Elwes

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Fold, 2006

Luke Elwes (born 1961) is a British artist.


Elwes (pronounced "El-wez") was born in London, where he now works and lives with his wife, Anneke Elwes and two sons Jake Elwes and Toby Elwes. His early years were spent in Teheran, Persia, where the light and space of the desert were a formative influence.

He attended leading Benedictine Private School Worth School (affiliated to Downside School) then between 1979 and 1985 he studied History at Bristol University and Painting at Camberwell School of Art.

While working at Christie's, he began to travel and write, and after meeting Bruce Chatwin in 1987 he went to the central Australian desert to explore the landscape and its use in aboriginal storytelling and artforms.

Since then he has continued to travel extensively, discovering and revisiting remote locations in India, Asia Minor and North Africa.

In 1998 he was artist in residence on an expedition to Mount Kailash,[1][citation needed] a holy mountain in western Tibet.

Since his first exhibition in 1990 he has had twelve one man shows in London, Paris and New York City.[citation needed]

His work was inspired by the landscapes of Osea Island where he rented a cottage with his family for many years.

He also writes about contemporary painting for journals including Modern Painters, Galleries and the Royal Academy magazine, and is currently undertaking postgraduate research at Birkbeck, University of London.

Selected collections[edit]

Collections include the Bayer Collection; Chelsea and Westminster Hospital; Christie's Contemporary Art Collection; Deutsche Hypo Bank; Luther Pendragon Collection and The National Trust Foundation for Art.


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Bungle Bungle, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London (1990)
  • Landcross, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London (1991)
  • Storyline, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London (1993)
  • Peintures, Galerie Vieille du Temple, Paris (1993)
  • Island, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London (1995)
  • Pilgrim, Art First, London (1998)
  • Sanctuary, Art First, London (2000)
  • Peintures, Galerie Vieille du Temple, Paris (2001)
  • The Osea Paintings, Art First, London (2002)
  • Recent Paintings, Art First, New York (2002)
  • Compass, Art First, London (2004)
  • Flowing Ground, Broadbent Gallery, London (2005)
  • Refugia, Art First, London (2007)
  • Genius Loci, Galleria Ceribelli, Bergamo, Italy (2008)

Selected group shows[edit]

  • 38eme Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Grand Palais, Paris (1987)
  • 39eme Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Grand Palais, Paris (1988)
  • Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh (1988)
  • The Broad Horizon, Agnews, London (1990)
  • Il Sud Del Mondo, L’Altra Arte Contemporanea, Marsala, Sicily, and Milan, Italy (1991)
  • Earthscape, Hastings & Southampton City Art Gallery (1991)
  • Songlines, Barbican, London (1991)
  • Spring, Barbican, London (chosen by The Spectator)(1992)
  • Reflections, Edinburgh & London (chosen by The Spectator)(1993)
  • Celebration, New British Art, Benjamin Rhodes Gallery, London (1994).
  • Sanctuary Commission Project (with Maggi Hambling, Shirazah Houshiary, Keith grant, Mali Morris), Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London (1994)
  • Centenary, Contemporary British Art & the National Trust', Christie’s, London (1995)
  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (as invited artist) (1995)
  • Endangered Spaces, Council for the Protection of Rural England, Christies, London (1996)
  • Bayer Earth Art Prize,(Highly Commended), London (1996)
  • 14th Annual Open, Royal Overseas League, London & Edinburgh (1997)
  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition(1998)
  • The Hunting Group Art Prizes, London and Bath (1999)
  • Galerie Vieille du Temple, Paris (2000)
  • 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Art First, London (2001)
  • Water’s edge, Art First, London (Luke Elwes, Anthony Whishaw, Lino Mannocci) (2002)
  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition(2003)
  • Look, Stranger! Art First, London (Luke Elwes, Alex Lowery, Bridget MacDonald) (2003)
  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition(2005)
  • Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition, London (2005)
  • Translations', work from the National Gallery (London), Art First, London (2006)
  • Celeste Art Prize, London (2007)
  • Mapping, Bury Art Gallery, Manchester (2007)
  • Gli Amici Pittori Di Londra, Galleria Ceribelli, Bergamo & Galleria Ghelfi, Vicenza, Italy (2007)
  • Genius Loci, Galleria Ceribelli, Bergamo, Italy (2008)


  • Bungle Bungle, the Australian Paintings,by Colin Gleadell, Rebecca Hossack Gallery (1990), ISBN 1-872022-20-0
  • Island, Rebecca Hossack Gallery (1995), ISBN 1-872022-90-1
  • Pilgrim, by Andrew Lambirth, Art First (February 1998), ISBN 1-901993-03-5
  • Luke Elwes, Sanctuary, by Nicholas Usherwood, Art First Contemporary Art (2000), ISBN 1-901993-17-5
  • Luke Elwes at Art First, The (London) Independent, Sep 21, 2004 by Sue Hubbard
  • Roger Hilton: Swinging Out into the Void by Andrew Lambirth (Author), Luke Elwes (Author), Anett Hauswald (Author),Kettle's Yard Gallery (August 2, 2008), ISBN 1-904561-29-2
  • Genius loci, Luke Elwes (2008), Ediz. italiana e inglese, Editore Lubrina-LEB (collana Arte moderna e contemporanea)


  1. ^ Andrew Lambirth,Psychological Geodesist,Pilgrim, Art First (February 1998), ISBN 1-901993-03-5

External links[edit]