John Mitchell was born in Glasgow and studied at Edinburgh College of Art, Yale University USA and Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. He was selected for the prestigious 'New Contemporaries' exhibition at the ICA in London in 1980. He had his first solo exhibition in London at Maureen Paley Interim Art in 1986. Other solo and group exhibitions have been held nationally and internationally in Scotland, England, Canada, Ghana the Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden and Poland. His work has featured in a number of group exhibitions, notably at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, 'New Sculpture 88' and in 1990 his work was selected for the influential 'British Art Show' touring exhibition along with the likes of Ian Davenport, Mona Hatoum, Gary Hume, Fiona Rae and Rachel Whiteread. Since then he has continued to exhibit in solo and group exhibitions including the solo exhibition, 'Betwixt & Between', which was held at Reading Museum in 2012. This was followed by ‘Homage', an installation at Jubilee Library, Brighton, in 2014. In 2013 he was invited to be featured in a Thames & Hudson book called 'Nature Morte: Contemporary artists reinvigorate the Still-Life tradition'. Work by other artists selected for the book included amongst others: Mat Collishaw, Michael Craig-Martin, Damien Hirst, Sherrie Levine, Sarah Lucas, Gerhard Richter and Cy Twombly. There followed from 2015-2018 participation in a touring exhibition of selected artists from the book which travelled to Scandanavia, Poland and London, UK.
In 2019 he was invited back to Reading Museum to be included, along with August Rodin and Bob and Roberta Smith, in the exhibition: 'Animal-World Art Journeys' which spanned time, place and cultures.

John Mitchell's work is in the collections of:

The Museum of Installation, London, UK.
Maureen Paley: Interim Art, London, UK.
Private collection, Prague, Czech Republic.
Private collection, London, UK.
Private collection, Accra, Ghana.
The Hippodrome Casino, London, UK.