During the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s Geoff Archer’s subject matter was the urban landscape, inspired by visits to the U.S.A. in the 1970s and a growing familiarity with American Photorealism. Straightforward townscapes soon developed into more complex close-ups of transparent and reflective surfaces, combining the reflections on the surface of a window, for example, with the view through the glass.
By the late '90s, however, the subject matter had changed dramatically, though the style remained realistic. Following some years of drawing the rocky outcrops of the Peak District, close to his home in Macclesfield, the first paintings of rocks were produced.
As with the urban landscape there was a tendency to close in, with the exclusion of both earth and sky and a concentration instead on pattern, colour, tone and texture, thus creating a deliberately more abstract effect.
The earliest of these paintings were of Peak District rocks but they were quickly followed by paintings based on the rocky landscapes of the U.S.A. – and subsequently elsewhere.
2010 saw a return to a wider range of subjects. A visit to the ‘Boneyard’ in Las Vegas (or the Neon Museum as it is now known) – a repository of old discarded casino and motel signs – inspired a series of new paintings, and these have been followed by paintings of derelict ghost town buildings, abandoned automobiles and other aspects of the disappearing American landscape. A trip along the full length of Route 66 in 2007 led to a number of paintings, while 'Old Car City' in Georgia has been a recent revelation, providing inspiration for numerous works.
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery (‘88) - with Pat Havis
Blackfriars Arts Centre, Boston (‘00)
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery (‘00 - ‘01)
National Stone Centre, Wirksworth (‘01)
Stockport Art Gallery (‘03)
Silk Museum, Macclesfield (‘03)
Wendy Levy Gallery, Manchester (‘04) - with Simon Parkin
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery (‘07)
Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek (‘12)
g fine art, Macclesfield (‘12) - with Pat Havis
Nicholson Museum and Art Gallery, Leek (’17)
The Old Sunday School, Macclesfield (’18)
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery (’20) (remained closed throughout due to the pandemic)
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery (’22)
Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (‘80 - ‘02) (prizewinner ‘86)
Lancashire Artists, Preston (’81, ‘82)
Stockport Open (‘81, ‘01, ‘13)
Silver Palette, Derby (‘82)
Derbyshire Open, Buxton (‘82 - ‘09) ( prizewinner ‘02)
Tolly Cobbold Eastern Arts Exhibition, Cambridge, Ipswich, London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Leeds (’83 - ‘84)
Leicestershire Exhibition, Loughborough (‘84 - ‘90)
Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition (‘88, '23)
Macclesfield Open (’13 - ’17, ’20, '21) (prizewinner ’15)
Art Fair Cheshire, Macclesfield (’16, ’19, '22)
Stockport Guild Exhibition (’18)
Three Counties Open Art Exhibition, Burslem (’20 - '23) (prizewinner ’21)
Colchester & District General Hospital (‘84) - with Michael Craig-Martin & John Loker
‘The Artist’ (August 2001)
Leicestershire Education Authority
N E Essex Area Health Authority
East Cheshire NHS Trust
The Bankers Trust
Geoff Archer was born in Manchester in 1945 and now lives in Cheshire. After two years studying architecture at Manchester Regional College of Art and Design he switched to an Art Foundation course (or Pre-Dip as it was then known) before completing a B.A. course in Fine Art at Nottingham Art School. This was followed by a postgraduate teaching course at Reading University which led to a teaching career lasting thirty years. Throughout this time he exhibited his paintings in both group and solo exhibitions. In 2013 he co-founded the Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition with Pat Havis.
In the mid 1990s Geoff completed a course in Art History at Manchester University, gaining an M.A. with distinction. The subject of his dissertation was the figurative sculpture of British First World War memorials which ultimately led to the publication of his first book, 'The Glorious Dead', in November 2009. His second book, 'Public Sculpture in Britain: A History', was published in May 2013 and a third book, on local war memorials, was self-published in 2016. Painting, however, remains his primary interest.