Born in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire in 1938 as Christoper Ronald Mark Lancaster. Lancaster decided early on to be addressed by his favourite of the three names, Mark. He attended Holme Valley Grammar School between 1952 to 1955 going on to work for a family textile business where he studied textile technology for six years. Over this period he begun painting in his own time, sparking his interest in art. This inspired Lancaster to go on to study Fine Art at King’s College, Newcastle from 1961 to 1965. While at King’s College he studies under Richard Hamilton, credited as the father of Pop Art.
In 1964 Lancaster crossed the Atlantic for the first time where he was introduced to none other than Andy Warhol by his previous tutor Hamilton. For a brief period he worked as an assistant for Warhol, gaining a deeper understanding of his art and roll in the pop art movement. During his time in New York he featured in several of Warhol’s movies along side other popular artist of the times.
After graduating Lancaster returned to King’s College teach for a year before migrating to London to live while teaching at the Bath Academy of Art, 1966 – 1968.
The November of 1965 saw the first of Lancaster’s solo exhibitions at the Rowan Gallery, London, where he went on to host many subsequent shows. It was not long before his work gained traction in America hosting events at he Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, in 1972 and 1974.
Over the following years he split his time between London and New York, while working on his collections and exhibiting his work at various events and solo exhibitions.
In 1987, following the tragic death of Andy Warhol on 22nd February, Lancaster spent the following year producing a collection of 200 small paintings to commemorate his passing. The collection was titled Post-Warhol Souvenirs. Each painting in the collection of just under 200 featured Monroe’s image as a reference to Warhol’s “Marilyn” image. They were first exhibited in the Mayor Rowan Gallery in London. The exhibition opened on February 22nd 1988, the first anniversary of Warhol’s death.
Over his career Lancaster’s work has been displayed in the likes of the Tate Modern, Serpentine, The National Gallery in Washington DC and countless other galleries across the globe.
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