Michael Stubbs - Solo exhibition

This exhibition contextualises Stubbs’ painting practice alongside his rarely seen paper works.

Date: 8 February 2013

“Painting is at an interesting crossroads in relation to digital culture and the media - I try to reflect this through the painting’s chaotic visual spaces.” Michael Stubbs.

This exhibition contextualises Stubbs’ painting practice alongside his rarely seen paper works. Stubbs translates his multi-layered painting technique into graphically transferred silkscreens, stencilled pencil drawings and collages that mix vibrant inks with bold stick-on graphic signs. Stubbs new paper works combine neon coloured shop window signs with stencilled, graffiti style spray paints that refer to the high street recession and continue his fascination with contemporary painting’s material manipulation of the flattened, immaterial space of digital media.

The paintings, which operate at the interface of abstraction and pop, are constructed by combining poured, abstract configurations of transparent varnishes and opaque household paints with ready-made graphic stencils. The repeated pouring, in conjunction with pop signs, form a physical process of sensual flat-on-flat layering that reveals multiple perspectives and optical depths. 

The layering, which is consistent in whatever medium he chooses to work with, is part of the fracturing process, the breaking up or ‘exploding’ of a recognizable image, a response says Stubbs to broadcast and internet images of violence and confusion that seem to fill our world.  Amorphous shapes intrude into Stubbs’ picture planes, fragmenting the surface; it is as though the physicality of the all the works here are coming up against the pixilation of the digital image.  Yet there is an overriding seductiveness in these works; the perfection of the finish and the boldness of the palette alleviate the chaos of the visual explosion. This is picture making being interrogated in a serious, sensual and often irreverent way.

His recent solo exhibitions include: Laurent Delaye Gallery, London, UK - 2011 and 2010. ‘Virus Prints’, Laurent Delaye Gallery, London, UK; ‘Virus Drawings’, Rod Barton Gallery, London, UK - 2009. Baro Cruz Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil - 2007. Hollenbach Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany - 2006. Marella Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy - 2005.

"… Another of the moment painter displays his wares in London.  Michael Stubbs’s canvases, which suspend interlocking fragments of sharp-edged logos and scything blocks of colour in silky veils of tinted varnish, critically configure the medium for an age of teeming distraction and antiseptic corporate culture, but still come out looking ravishing and above the fray – no easy task.  The jabbering, edgeless context of the Internet inevitably hovers over such work, as it does contemporary cultural production as a whole."

Martin Herbert, 'Now See This; Michael Stubbs at Laurent Delaye', Art Reviewexhibition preview, issue 53, October 2011

Read the review of Stubbs show by John Bunker.

Michael Stubbs

News details

Artist website michaelstubbs.org
Venue Central House
Opening hours 8 February - 2 March 2013 (Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm)
Private viewing 7 February 2013, 6-8pm