Curatorial Art Practice in London
Paintings identity is an interesting crossroads and I try to reflect this through the painting chaotic visual spaces.
(Michael Stubbs, in conversation with John Chilver, ‘Short Studio Film’, 2011)
Michael Stubbs (born 1961) is a British painter. After completing a Master’s Degree at Goldsmiths’ in 1990, Stubbs started exhibiting internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. He also curated a number of well reviewed exhibitions, inviting artists and curators to collaborate. Between 1999 and 2003 he returned to Goldsmiths to take a PhD in Fine Art; his thesis was entitled Digital Embodiment in Contemporary Abstract Painting.
Stubbs is internationally recognised for the unique quality of his paintings, which are constructed by combining abstract configurations of transparent varnishes and opaque household paints with pop art graphic stencils. This layering produces multiple perspectives and optical depths. His contemporary language of abstraction is a play between material manipulation, three-dimensionality and physical space, and this language is formalised into a unique sense of composition and a rich sensual surface texture. As Barry Schawbsky wrote in the exhibition catalogue for Post Flat:New Art from London (2003), ‘Stubbs’s imagery seems constantly on the verge of converging into some form of cultural commentary, but the fundamental abstractness and even irrationality of his overlapping poured shapes seems calculated to prevent that – to insist on the painting as an agreement to disagree between wayward materials and stubborn intentionality’.
Michael Stubbs is a multi-skilled artist who also worked extensively in architectural interior and exterior design throughout the 1990s, and in graphic design in the 1980s. His architectural design skills include design, project management, installation of large-scale wall based silkscreens and artworks (Exeter City Council), design of contemporary decoration (The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace), and restoration decoration (Gonville and Caius, University of Cambridge and Royal Exchange). His graphic design skills include client consultations from storyboarding through to design into print, and slide/tape conference exhibitions (ICI, Glaxo Smith Kline, British Rail, Jeffery Rodgers, Imagination, Design and Communication). Stubbs has also been the artistic director of pop videos for Primal Scream and White Out and has sculpted polystyrene television sets for Doctor Who.
Stubbs’s recent solo exhibitions include: Paintings/Prints/Drawings/Collages, at Cass Gallery, London Metropolitan University in 2013, Fireeye Meltdown, at Laurent Delaye Gallery in 2011 and Virus Drawings, at Rod Barton Gallery in 2009. In addition, his works were included in Porta Nigra: Black Gate, at Hidde van Seggelen Gallery in 2012, RCA Secret, at the Royal College of Art (from 2007 to 2011), and John Moores 24: Contemporary Painting, at the Liverpool Biennale in 2006.