Naylor was born at Morley near Leeds. He studied at Dewsbury and Batley Technical and Art School from 1961 to 1965, Leeds Art College in 1965-66, and the Royal College of Art from 1967 to 1970. He has held various lecturing posts, and in 1985 was Artist in Residence at Altos de Chavon, La Romana, Dominican Republic. He has had solo exhibitions at the Lane Gallery, Bradford (1966), Arnolfini, Bristol (1973), Rowan Gallery, London from 1974, Leeds City Art Gallery (1975), an Arts Council tour (1986), and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut (1992). Naylor was Britain's representative at the 1977 Sao Paulo Biennal, Brazil. His numerous awards include Arts Council Awards in 1971 and 1979, a 1975 Gulbenkian Foundation Visual Arts Award, a prize at the 1978 John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, and a Henry Moore Foundation Award in 1985. He currently lives in Argentina.
Sandy Nairne and Nicholas Serota (eds.), British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century, exhibition catalogue, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1981, pp.224-5, 258
Martin Naylor: Between Discipline and Desire, Selected works 1977-86, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council, London 1986