Brendan Neiland was born in Lichfield, Stafford in 1941. He attended the Birmingham College of Art from 1961 until 1966, where he then studied at the Royal College of Art, London, until 1969. Here he was tutored by Sir Peter Blake and was awarded the Silver Medal.
Neiland, throughout his career, has made the image of the modern city, and most especially the commercial city of the high-rise office and high finance, quite his own. Neiland, in looking into and beyond the modern urban scene, has pointed out the fascination and the beauty to be found in infinite complexities of the reflections cast upon those sheer facades of glass and steel – the clouds scudding across the sky, light and shadow, in constant, ever-changing movement against the monumental stability of those great structures.
However, there has always been more to Neiland's work than the simple depiction and celebration of the soaring modern city tower: he is interested in the reflection itself. In his paintings of architecture, Neiland adds an extra dimension to the mediation which takes place between architect/building and painter/observer: time. The reflections which form a central part of this aspect of the artist s work have a timelessness which derives from the fact that they are particular moments, captured initially through photography, then transformed into something which is at once two and three-dimensional.
Moreover, rather more than having to adapt the conventional disciplines of painting to his particular needs, he evolved over time a method entirely peculiar to himself. The brush was laid aside for the spray-gun in the one hand, and the scalpel in the other, and an entirely idiosyncratic process of working with card and paper masks and stencils, cut and registered to a most remarkable exactness, came into being.
Some of the more recent pieces have taken on a different vibrancy, particularly in relation to colour. More vivid than the relatively muted tones of earlier work, they have been inspired by visits to cities and environments quite unlike those in Britain, and reveal an artist enjoying hotter climates and warmer hues.
As well as receiving various awards, Neiland has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, appointed Professor of Painting at the University of Brighton as well as the Loughborough University, and until 2005, was a Royal Academician.