Born in London in 1960, Andrew Graham-Dixon is one of the leading art critics and broadcasters in the English-speaking world. He is the author of numerous books on subjects ranging from the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present day, including A History of British Art (1994), Renaissance (1999), Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel (2008) and Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane (2010), which was shortlisted for the UK's most prestigious non-fiction book award, the Samuel Johnson Prize.
Andrew was appointed Chief Art Critic of The Independent at the age of twenty-five. During his early career he was awarded the Arts Journalist of the Year award three years running (1987-9). In 1992 he was awarded the inaugural Hawthornden Prize for Art Criticism. Over the course of the last three decades has written a weekly column on art, first for The Independent, then the Sunday Telegraph. His collected art criticism runs to more than ten volumes. He is now roving arts correspondent for Christie's Magazine, as well as a regular contributor to Vanity Fair.
In 1991, Andrew began his long collaboration with the BBC, which still continues. He has presented more than twenty landmark series for the corporation, including Art of Russia, Art of America, Art of Spain, Art of Scandinavia, Art of Italy, The High Art of the Low Countries, Art of China and many more. Altogether, he was written and presented more than 100 films about the visual arts for the BBC, considerably more than any other individual in the history of the institution. His first film, Gericault's Raft of the Medusa, was awarded a Golden Lion for Reportage at the Montreal International Film Festival in 1992. His first series, A History of British Art, was nominated for both BAFTA and RTS awards in 1996; Renaissance (1999) was nominated for the RTS; Art of Russia (2009) was nominated for BAFTA.
Andrew has a long history of public service in the visual arts, serving on the Hayward Gallery Advisory Committee (1992-5) and Government Art Collection Committee (1992-6). He was a trustee of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (2005-10) and judged the Turner Prize in 1991. More recently he served as member and spokesman for the Bank of England's committee charged with advising the Governor on which figure from the field of the visual arts to celebrate on a new design for the twenty-pound note.
Andrew also lectures on art extensively throughout the world, particularly the UK and the US. He also works with a small number of private clients, advising them on art and art collecting.
Andrew is currently working on two books: a documentary biography of Vermeer and a wide-ranging study of art seen from the perspective of the history of thought, provisionally entitled Art as Idea. Both are to be published by Penguin Books.
Andrew has also worked closely with the BBC to produce the first major new history of the Royal Collection for a generation. He has in addition been working on a series of detective-style programmes exploring such subjects as The Mona Lisa, the theft of paintings by Van Gogh from Amsterdam, and the forgeries of Han Van Meegeren. The last is scheduled to be broadcast this autumn on BBC4.
According to Robert Hughes, former art critic of Time magazine and writer of 'The Shock of the New': “Andrew Graham-Dixon is the most gifted art critic of his generation. Unsparing, witty and probing, with a supple style, a real passion for the concrete body of art and a clear sense of its social environment, he encourages you to think and feel”.
John Russell, long-time art critic of The New York Times, has written that “In fifty years’ experience as a fellow workman in the field, I have never known an art critic in London who responds so well, year in and year out, to the challenge of subjects that cover the whole range of Western art.”