Michael Stubbs: Three Paintings

11 November – 4 December 2021

OPENING Thursday 11 November 5 – 8 pm

PALFREY is thrilled to present the exhibition Three Paintings by Michael Stubbs. 

Michael Stubbs has been a prominent and influential painter for thirty years, since his first solo show at Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London, in 1991. His varied work has touched on painting endgames, mutations of the grid, decorative excess, and the interweaving of process and abstraction. Since the early 2000s he has consistently used processes of visual layering to yoke an open-ended improvisatory painting style to fragmentations of signage and text. 

Stubbs’ recent paintings use repeated pouring in conjunction with masking, to collage together a condensed crowd of visual events. Scything blocks of colour collide with fluid transparent veils and remnants of stylized information. Transitioning through a succession of states, each painting compresses its elements to a point where their fragments become co-dependent. In this way the paintings work through a series of impulses, riffs, accidents, false starts and changes of mind, to arrive at a moment of dynamic complexity that can’t be planned. The visible shards of signage in the paintings refer the viewer to a digital realm that flows restlessly and centrifugally. This vocabulary is extended in the newer works through the incorporation of photo images into the picture plane. These images – taken in the studio, showing working materials and painting detritus – evoke a practice figured as a process of consumption and production. The works on show extend Stubbs’ painting idiom of simultaneous accident and deliberation, code and mark, excess and synthesis.

Michael Stubbs studied at Bath Academy of Art (BA 1987) and Goldsmiths College (MA 1990; PhD 2003). He teaches at Glasgow School of Art, where he is a Reader in Contemporary Painting. He has exhibited internationally since the early 1990s, including group shows: New Voices: British Painting, Musee National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg and touring to various international venues, 1992-97; Mandy Loves Declan 100%, Mark Boote Gallery, New York, 1993; Punishment and Decoration, Hohenthal and Bergen, Cologne, 1994; Cocaine Orgasm, BANK, London, 1995; John Moores, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2006 and 2008; Large Formats, Oscar Cruz, Sao Paulo, 2011; and solo shows, including Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London, 1991; 2 by 1, Curtain Road Arts, London, 1995; Entwistle, London, 2002; Marella Contemporary Art, Milan, 2005; Baro Cruz Gallery, Sao Paulo, 2007; Laurent Delaye Gallery, London, 2010 and 2011; Hollenbach, Stuttgart, 2006 and 2015; Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool Hope University, 2017.