Humphrey Ocean grew up in Sussex. He attended art colleges in Tunbridge Wells and Brighton, before studying under musician and artist Ian Dury at Canterbury College of Art. For three years, he played bass with Dury in the pub rock band Kilburn and the High Roads. It was while the band were supporting The Who on tour in 1973 that Ocean first fully realised his ambition for painting.
Major projects and solo exhibitions are too numerous to list in full. In 1982 Ocean won the National Portrait Gallery’s annual Portrait Prize for his group composition Lord Volvo and his Estate. This led to further commissions from the gallery, including portraits of Sir Paul McCartney (1983) and the poet Philip Larkin (1984). He was elected a Royal Academician in 2004. A major monograph of his work was published by the Royal Academy in 2019 and he served as Professor of Perspective at the Academy from 2012 to 2020.
This exhibition featured a personal choice of objects and art from the Eton College Collections alongside a small selection of the artist’s work. An online version is available.