Approved: 01.06.2011

Dr. Helen Gorrill

Art historian, Artist, Curator, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

Approved: 01.06.2011


Dr Gorrill's postdoctoral work aims to explore patterns of creativity in aesthetics and identities through contemporary painting in national collections (1990 to present). She is motivated by the identification of transnational aesthetics and cultural identities through a new methodology developed during her PhD research in contemporary British painting, and seek to establish a next generation tradition in art historical analysis through the use of statistics programming of aesthetic and biographical details. Dr Gorrill's PhD research also discovered the emergence of a new ‘Androgynous Aesthetics’ in contemporary British painting since the 1990s. She is currently working on the USA, Middle East and German markets for her forthcoming book Women Can’t Paint: Gender, the Glass Ceiling and Values in Contemporary Art (IB Tauris 2018).

In response to her PhD findings, Gorrill’s work is currently inspired by Oscar Murillo’s large-scale paintings which ‘imply action, performance and chaos, but are in fact methodically composed of rough-hewn, stitched canvases that often incorporate fragments of text as well as studio debris such as dirt and dust’. Her subject matter has also shifted as a result of a move from the city to the country and as such the stark contrast in environments has underpinned a significant direction for her practice.  Gorrill paints on a large scale with neon and found materials combined with the collaging of used billboard posters and city centre graffiti.  Like the work of Murillo, her work is direct and raw although meticulously constructed, and her new wildlife subject matter is matched alongside luxury brand advertising slogans, suggesting the encroachment of the urban within the natural environment.  Gorrill's work is held in private collections worldwide and included in New York Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A Sackler Center archive, and the artist has been the recipient of an Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust Award (December 2016).


CV & Education