Studio 4: We, the Contemporary

Studio brief

What is ‘contemporary’ about painting? That's a question this 2D studio tackles from multiple directions.

How painterly languages and contexts emerge is a trajectory we can observe not just through art, but also via those multi-value networks and relationships we can categorise as 'culture'. Long gone are the days of High Art, where patronage and elitism determined the value of painterly meaning and skill. Now, the stakes are much higher.

The challenge is to give potential to the meaning and function of painterly production - through resourcefulness and the wealth of human knowledge and actions. This doesn't just mean appropriating the familiar, but also to embody and analyse the experiences of making – to find a new art vocabulary to communicate the art practice. Drawing, print, sculpture, craft, movement, performance, sound - these all qualify as making. None are exhaustive in their utility here or in their 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 contemporary will further venture into the formal and material elements of painting, exploring its objecthood and frontality, the embodiment of content or, indeed, its lack. Our intention is to return to the well-trodden legacies of art (what is modernism, after all? Can we really do without it?) and so to re-align art's legitimacies with the experiences of the now. This will entail asking good, solid questions about the presence of body, expression and subjectivity within painterly practice. Yes, that's human, that’s about us. Which is how we'll reinstate the currency of what it is we mean by 'contemporary'.

We'll look at street art, using the carpark at the Commercial Road building to practice aerosol spray paintings on the wall there. We'll investigate contemporary figuration. We’ll have a group show at Christmas and at Easter. And we'll put together a mass submission for Mustafa Hulusi’s Flyposting competition by the end of October. 

Albert Oehlen, 'Untitled' (2011) Image of dancer


Course Fine Art BA (Hons)
Tutor Dr Andrea Medjesi-Jones
Dr Michael Stubbs
Rosemarie McGoldrick
Where Central House, 2nd Floor Studios
When Monday and Thursday

Graciela Aebicher de Ortega
Charlotte Aiken
Alexandra Alexandrou
Sam Carby
David Goodman
Joshua Hill- Walsh
Smrita Limbu
Tatiana Lopes Silva
Maria McIntyre
Luke Renouf
Naseba Samadi

Teri Anderson
Nina Ansah
David Batty
Trude Bekk
Kathrine Dixon
Samuel Eyles
Paulina Glimas
Claire Hagen
Kimberly Hang
Daniel Haycock
Andreea Ionascu
Guy Marshall-Brown
Bev Mason
Terence Milligan
Charlotte Richards
Georgia Robinson
Liucija Saltonaite

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