Richard Deacon was born in 1949 in Bangor, Wales, UK. He studied at Somerset College of Art, St Martins School of Art, the Royal College of Art, and the Chelsea School of Art. He currently lives and works in London.
Deacon has taught at a number of art schools, principally the Central School of Art and Design, the Chelsea School of Art, Sheffield City Polytechnic, the Bath Academy of Art, the Winchester School of Art, Ateliers 63, the Hochschule fur Angewande Kunst, the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, and the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf. He has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester.
Deacon’s first one-man show was held in 1978 at The Gallery in London. This led to a string of solo exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, notably at Riverside Studios, the Tate Gallery London, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Tate Gallery Liverpool, Lisson Gallery, Marian Goodman Gallery, LA Louver Gallery, Galerie Susanne Ottesen, Galerie Schulte, and Galerie Ropac. An exhibition of his work toured South America in 1996-97. Since 2010, he has had three major retrospective shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, Tate Britain, and the Kunstmuseum Winterthur. Deacon has participated in many key group exhibitions, including the Sao Paolo Biennale, the Carnegie International, the Sydney Biennial, and Documenta.
Richard Deacon was a recipient of the Turner Prize. He has been named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France, a Royal Academician in the United Kingdom, and a member of the Akademie der Kunst in Berlin. Deacon was made CBE in 1999. Since the 1970s, he has written extensively on his own practice and contemporary art in general. So, And, If, But; Writings 1970-2012 was published in 2014.