Emerging from the radical transformations of the British art scene over the last two decades is a pool of artists working in the field of abstract painting. As a loose group of well-established innovators these artists have turned the concepts of abstraction upside down, opening up complex new meanings by questioning what constitutes a painting and how it is made. The values of abstraction in Britain today are a far cry from the rigours of Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism, thanks to one of the most diversified and dynamic generations ever.
As one of its most distinctive exponents, Michael Stubbs has taken a fresh look at what constitutes abstraction by producing his own idiosyncratic language, mixing and grinding decorators materials and graphic symbols in the process. His work can be placed alongside a whole generation of painters from Leipzig to New York. Responding to the concerns of his generation, Stubbs synthesises the ideas of trash and high art, decoration and humour in a playfully irreverent way.
Held together in a precarious balancing act, his paintings are constructed by combining poured, abstract configurations of transparent varnishes and opaque household paints with embedded graphic stencils. These technical resources are at the service of a razor sharp clarity and viscous liquidity. Stubbs juxtaposes Baroque elaboration with Morris Louis style poured veils. What becomes visible between the flattened layers are strange echoes and references to art history and popular culture, unfolding into a heady mix of the serious and the sensual.
Michael Stubbs was born in West Sussex in 1961. He completed his Fine Art PhD at Goldsmiths in 2003, MA Fine Art Goldsmiths, 1990, and his BA(Hons) Fine Art, Bath Academy of Art, 1987.
His recent solo exhibitions include: 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.
The exhibition is on view at Laurent Delaye
through July 24, 2010.