He is represented by Matt's Gallery, London and Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin.
His art practice encompasses video, performance, sculpture, sound and text. His work reflects on how contemporary identity and its associated myths and fictions, can be expressed and understood. and his portraits of real, imagined, historical and contemporary characters explore the idea of identity and performance in portraiture. Plants and flowers are recurrent motifs in his art, as he explores their ability to suggest various meanings: social, emotional, personal and national.
Fagen is a Senior Lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Scotland. He has previously taught at Glasgow School of Art, Perpignan School of Art, Perpignan, France, St. Martins School of Art, London, and Kent Institute of Art & Design, Canterbury.
1989-90 Kent Institute of Art & Design, Canterbury, Interdisciplinary MA in Art & Architecture
1984-88 Fine Art, Sculpture, Glasgow School of Art, BA (Hons)
2002, Scottish Arts Council Artists Award
2001, Scottish Arts Council Assistance Grant, AHRB award, Carnegie Trust Award
2000, Winner of The Archibald, Campbell & Harley WS Photography Prize
1998, Scottish Arts Council Award to Artists
1996, Scottish Arts Council Small Assistance Award
2001-02, Grizedale Arts, The Forest and the Forester (after Maeterlinck); ’Botanica’
2000, Commission to Kosovo. Commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, London
1999-2002, Two Pocket Parks. Tree Planting and Where the Heart Is. Commissioned by The Centre & The Royston Road Company.
Fagen's international exhibitions include the Venice Biennale (solo in 2015 and group presentation in 2003 both with Scotland + Venice), Busan Biennale, South Korea and the Art and Industry Biennial, New Zealand. In Britain he has exhibited in Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, The Other Flower Show at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Britain and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London and in 1999 was invited by the Imperial War Museum, London to work as the Official War Artist for Kosovo. Main project collaborators include Hospitalfield, Arbroath; La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh; Tramway, Glasgow; National Theatre of Scotland, Glasgow; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; The Changing Room Gallery, Stirling; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art; Dundee Contemporary Arts; Artpace, San Antonio and Matt’s Gallery, London.
In 2015 Graham Fagen represented Scotland at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with a solo exhibition for Scotland + Venice an official collateral event curated and organised by Hospitalfield. This exhibition included new bronze, ceramic, steel and neon sculptures, Indian ink drawings and a 5 channel audio-video work within a series of rooms and a courtyard of Palazzo Fontana, which had previously never been used for an exhibition and is located on the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio district of Venice. The exhibition included a major new audio-video installation: a collaboration with the composer Sally Beamish; the vocalist Ghetto Priest; the music producer Adrian Sherwood; and the musicians of Scottish Ensemble. This work takes its inspiration and title from a 1792 poem by Robert Burns, The Slave's Lament. The exhibition was later shown at the curating organisation's base, Hospitalfield House, in 2016.
During GENERATION - 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, a programme of exhibitions across Scotland in 2014, Graham Fagen exhibited within several venues. He presented a solo exhibition of new works at The Glasgow School of Art entitled Cabbages in an Orchard; The formers and forms of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Graham Fagen. Fagen's seminal work Peek-A-Jobby which had been stored by Matt's Gallery since it was first exhibited in 1998 was re-presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Between August 2014 and January 2015 Graham Fagen and Graham Eatough presented a collaborative exhibition at La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille, entitled Camera. In April 2012 Graham Fagen presented a collaboration with theatre director Graham Eatough and photography director Michael McDonough entitled The Making Of Us. "The Making of Us" combined elements of performance, art installation and film, part reality TV and part scripted metafiction. It was conceived with Tramway and National Theatre of Scotland.
Other recent solo exhibitions include Missing, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commissioned by the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Under Heavy Manners, Artpace, San Antonio, where he also formed a band with his fellow artist in residence Frank Benson and Artspace preparator Chad Dawkins Baile an Or, Timespan, Helmsdale, 2011; somebodyelse, The Changing Room, Stirling, 2009; Come into the Garden And forget about the War, Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin, 2007, Downpresserer, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Closer, Doggerfisher, Edinburgh, Killing Time, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, 2006; Clean Hands Pure Heart, Tramway, Glasgow 2005; Heaven & Hell, CRAC, Alsace, 2004; Theatre, Chapter, Cardiff, 2003; Love is Lovely, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, la mia casa dov'e?, Italian Cultural Institute, London, 2002; Graham Fagen, Valeria Belvedere, Milan, 2001; Theatre, Imperial War Museum, London, Graham Fagen, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 2000; Graham Fagen, Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Graham Fagen, Valeria Belvedere, Milan, Graham Fagen, Murray Guy, New York, 1999; Peek-A-Jobby, Matt's Gallery, London, 1998.
Major projects include For St Agnes. Commissioned by Foreground for Bristol City Council, 2010; I Murder Hate. Commissioned by the Tolbooth and The Changing Room, Stirling, 2009; Fir Tree. Commissioned by FRAC Nord pas de Calais for Talbot House Museum, Belgium, 2007; True Love. Commissioned by City Projects, London, 2007; The Forest & The Forester (after Maeterlinck). Commissioned by Grizedale Arts, 2002; Royston Road Trees and Where the Heart Is. Commissioned by the Roston Road Project, 2002; Subversive on the Side of a Lunatic. Commissioned by the Henry Moore Institute, 1999.
Fagen has shown work in numerous other group exhibitions including Between the Late and Early, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 2013; Tales of the City, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 2011; Woodman Spare Me That Tree, Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin, 2010; Running Time, The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Unsettled Objects, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 2009; What is Life, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Supernatural, Centro Cultural Kunsthalle, Andrax, 2008.
Publications include Graham Fagen, Scotland + Venice and Hospitalfield, 2015; Cabbages in an Orchard, Glasgow School of Art, 2014; Clean Hands Pure Heart, Tramway, 2005; Love Is Lovely, Fruitmarket Gallery, 2002; Botanica, designed by Chris Evans, Grisedale Arts, 2002; Subversive On The Side Of A Lunatic, The Henry Moore Foundation, 1999.
Further contributions to publications include Dr. Skin, Perth Museum, Perth, 2005; Blind Sight, VRC, Dundee and Artspace Titanik Turku, Finland, Art of the Garden, Tate Britain, London; Busan Biennial, Metropolitan Art Museum, Korea, Scotland Now, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Art & Industry Biennial, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2004; Art & War, Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria, Sanctuary, GOMA, Glasgow, Northern Grammar, Solvberget, Stavanger Kulturhus, Norway, 2003; Where Is My Home, Italian Cultural Institute Strike, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Reality Check, Recent Developments in British Photography & Video. The British Council, TVSwansong, article press 292, Edinburgh College of Art, 2002.
He has been on an advisory member for present Project (CABE and A&B) and the Scottish Arts Council.
Fagen’s works are part of the following collections: Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London; Corporate Collection, London; Imperial War Museum, London; Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, City of Edinburgh Collection, Dundee Museums. Private Collections, London, Glasgow, New York & Milan.