Mick Rooney studied at Sutton School of Art from 1959 to 1962, Wimbledon School of Art from 1962 to 1964, and subsequently at the Royal College of Art, London from 1964 to 1967. Here he was awarded the Austin Abbey Major Scholarship to study at the British School of Rome from 1967 to 1968, where he was commissioned by the Franciscan Order to create a wall mosaic for a new Basilica in Nazareth, Israel. Between 1968 and 1982 he taught part-time at various art colleges.
Rooney’s early solo exhibitions were held from 1965 at the Fulham Gallery, London, Galerie Petit, Amsterdam, Seasons Gallery, The Hague and Patrick Seale Gallery, London, with regular solo shows being held at the Mercury Gallery, London from 1984. A retrospective of his work (covering the period 1978 to 1988) was held in 1989 and toured Folkestone, Eastbourne and Bath. Rooney’s work has been included in many group exhibitions in Britain and abroad. Among Rooney’s commissions is a painting to celebrate the centenary of the Financial Times (1988), a poster for London Underground (1990), a tapestry commissioned by TSB for Birmingham Headquarters (woven by Edinburgh Tapestry Company) and a book cover for Mr and Mrs Noah – recent poems by Brendan Kennely.
Among Rooney’s many awards are ANSVAR Insurance, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (1981), World of Newspapers, Daily Mirror, London (1982), Spirit of London, GLC Southbank (1983), Gulbenkian Printmakers Award (1984), John Player Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery (1985), Daler/Rowney Prize (Royal Academy, 1986), House and Garden Magazine Award (Royal Academy, 1988), Korn/Ferry International Premier Award (Royal Academy, 1989) and First Prize, Chichester Arts Festival Exhibition.
Rooney was Artist in Residence for the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne in 1983. He was elected Royal Academician in 1991 and in 2001 was elected to the Royal Society of Painters and Printmakers. Rooney lives and works in London.
Born: 1944 in Epsom, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Elected ARA: 31 May 1990
Elected RA: 26 June 1991
Elected Senior RA: 1 October 2019
Preferred media: Painting