Magda Archer

Crazy Mad is a solo painting show by British artist Magda Archer. Cornerhouse 26 June - 7 Aug.

By Matthew Tyas | Last updated 2 June 2011

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Magda Archer Portrait

Crazy Mad is a solo painting show by British artist Magda Archer, presenting a cross section of works made from her home studio over the last decade. Inspired by her vast collection of paraphernalia from the 1950s onwards – sweet jars, biscuit tins, toys and other ephemera – her playful yet dark paintings straddle a surreal-pop kitsch sensibility. Magda Archer: Crazy Mad runs at Cornerhouse, Manchester from 26 June until 7 August 2011 and admission is free.

For Crazy Mad, alongside her paintings, Archer will install a replica of her studio, which she describes as ‘a beautiful cosy grotto’. Whilst working alongside her collections of objects, she listens to a vast range of music that often seeps into her paintings. And so a specially selected soundtrack will feature her favorite tunes to date in the replica space.

Her method of painting is painstaking – as Archer says: “I like to concentrate so hard my eyes are watering”. Amongst the acidic sugar coated colour palette of Archer’s paintings there are often distinctive typefaces, reminiscent of sweet wrappers, comics, annuals and B movie posters.

At Cornerhouse, visitors will navigate through Archer’s replica studio to enter the gallery where clusters of her works will be grouped as: So many people love you baby, I don’t like Art – I Love it, Furry Friends, Strange Kids and Come to me my Melancholy Baby.

The paintings will be illuminated by an eclectic selection of domestic lamps and lights. Archer’s show will echo a kleptomaniac searching for escapism from the mundane landscape of domesticity through the act of painting and collecting.
Magda Archer trained at Ravensbourne College of Art, Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art before embarking on a series of group exhibitions. In 1996 she produced artwork for The Beatles Anthology in partnership with Peter Quinnell. Since then she has been the co-writer and illustrator of the Harry Hill Fun Book. Some of the artwork produced for the fun book appeared in ‘Peter Blake; About Collage’ at Tate Liverpool in 2000. She participated in the group shows Kiss of a Lifetime at Vane, Newcastle in 2009 and in London Calling at Idea Generation Gallery, London in 2010. She has written and illustrated a children’s book Watch Out Arthur! and most recently a book where art meets comedy, What the Stars Buy! Further information about Madga Archer at

Magda Archer: Crazy Mad will be shown at Cornerhouse at the same time as a new show Constellations, featuring Kitty Kraus, Takahiro Iwasaki, Katie Paterson and
Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Both exhibitions will be showing at the same time as Manchester International Festival which runs at venues throughout Manchester from 30 June – 17 July 2011 (