Studio 3: Acts of Resistance

Studio brief

The history of painting is overburdened with its limitations and the various stages of its death. Yet, what we are experiencing is a healthy will and a strong desire to continue to work with the medium and to explore the meaning behind its fluid substance. Why is that?

This studio will tackle the ever-present dilemmas that loom over painterly language and communication. We will trace the history of its doubtful presentiment and objecthood, and chart its relations to other media including sculpture, performance, moving image and film in order to affirm its resilience and unearth its future potential.

What is it that painting can still do the other forms of art production can't? What is essential, and what is marginal to the future and the health of its production and meaning? To find out, we will consider its multivalent networks and relations, from formalism and materiality, representation and illusion all the way to its institutional functions and relevance.

In order to do that, we will consider all its working methodologies and styles. Drawing, print, sculpture, craft, movement, performance, sound – these all qualify and are not exhaustive in their utility and the need for reinvention. 

In this art studio, we expect to unearth answers that challenge our perceptions, formed not only through painterly history but also via those current social, economic and political circumstances, which point right at the changing nature of representation and communication. This art studio will look at the presence of digital and virtual technologies in relationship to painting's production, explore the ethics and the legitimacy of painterly gesture and mark-making. This studio's concerns with the painting’s health will further venture into the formal and material elements of painting, exploring its object-like status, the embodiment of content or, indeed, its lack.

Through practical workshops and reading groups, regular gallery visits and field trips, we aim to establish multiple working methodologies and critical pressure points that will allow us to confidently endorse and embody the unending pursuit of painting in its resilient act of resistance.  

Reading list

Breuvart, V (ed), Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting, London, Phaidon 2002
Clark, TJ, Farewell to an Idea, Yale UP, Boston, 2001
Elkins, J, On Pictures and the Words that Fail Them, CUP, Cambridge, 2011
Flam, JD (ed), Matisse, Henri. Matisse on Art, UCP, Berkeley, 1995
Hollander, A, Moving Pictures, Harvard UP, Cambridge (MA), 1991
Kudielka, R (ed), Bridget Riley: Dialogues on Art, Zwemmer, London, 1995.
Newman, B, ‘The Sublime is Now’, in O'Neil, JP (ed.), Barnett Newman: Selected Writings, UCP, Berkeley 1992
Obrist, H-U, Gerhard Richter, The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings 1962-1993, Thames & Hudson, London, 1995.
Rose, B (ed), Art as Art: The Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt. UCP, Berkeley, 1991
Rothko, M, The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art, Yale UP, Boston, 2004.
Ryan, D, Talking Painting, Routledge, London, 2002
Schwabsky, B (ed), Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting, London, Phaidon 2011
Staff, C, After Modernist Painting, IB Tauris, London, 2013

Artwork by Lucy Evetts titled Pretty Woman (2015), a collage of colourful images


Course Fine Art BA (Hons)
Tutor Dr Andrea Medjesi-Jones
Dr Michael Stubbs
Where Central House, second floor studios
When Mondays and Thursday


Fidel Adetsion
Lazlo Barna
Emeline Diais
Eujainie Eversley
Karolina Kraszynska
Tedi Lena
Rajan Masters
Jessica McKeand
Aimee Nicholls

Charley Aiken
Sam Carby
Samantha Copperwaite
Phuong Diep
Joshua Hill-Walsh
Miri Jones
John Lacey-Smith
Smrita Limbu
Beverly Mason
Peggy Quinn
Luke Renouf
Naseba Samadi
Xhuila Simoni

Fine Art