Bull Pen, 1986
About the artist
James McGarrell completed his BA at Indiana University in 1953. He spent a summer at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine before finishing his M.A. in 1955 at the University of California in Los Angeles. A Fulbright Fellowship allowed him to study for one year in Stuttgart, Germany, at the State Academy of Fine Art. Upon returning to the United States, McGarrell began his teaching career at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After three years he returned to his alma mater, Indiana University, where he taught and directed the graduate painting program until 1981. He then joined the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis where he served as head of the painting department until 1993, when he was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.
McGarrell has won countless honors for his intricately detailed figurative paintings, based upon a myriad of fictive and literary sources. He is an elected member of both the National Academy of Design in New York and the Academie des Beaux-Art de l'Institute de France. In 1995, he was awarded the prestigious Jimmy Ernst Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and has been featured in five Whitney annuals and biennials as well as in the 1968 Venice Biennale. His work is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Hamburg Museum of Art in Germany, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art