Approved: 13.01.2017

Philip Gatenby

Artist, Researcher

Approved: 13.01.2017



    Artist Statement

    The genre term abstract painting offers itself as a primary source, a legacy. My fixation on this term provides an anchor point, a place to stand that feeds from this legacy to understand more about radical change since Kazimir Malevich painting titled ‘Black Square’ was shown in The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0,10 (1915) an exhibition that served to gift iconic status to radical non-representation and the potentiality of minimalist geometries. 
    More than a century further down this road the transfiguration of painting seen through the lens of its precedents and protocols is an insistent seduction for me. 
    It seems rather obvious to note that abstract painting as was is clearly way different to what is. The task of figuring what next and how so must carry forward with a reinvigorated voice.   


    Most people stop painting and drawing in their childhood. I could never see the point of letting go. The Czechoslovakia born poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke's end stopped line 'as if standing on fishes'  has extraordinary power and prompts me into making a new series of non-objective works integrating paint media, cinematic film and sound for public exhibition in 2020.  




    CV & Education


    Phil GATENBY b.1950 Email: [email protected] Mobile: 07590  837785  

    Since retiring (2014) from my role as Head of Fine Art in the School of Arts & Media at Teesside University I work as an independent artist and researcher. My primary interest is the singular discipline of painting, its representation, actions, assumptions and the space permitted or claimed for its ascendancy, particularly so in a post 1989 milieu.

    My approach to art making...Starting out on a new painting idea begins with a ritually imposed tactic: the intent to avoid pictorial narrative, semiotics and kitsch, sufficiently so to allow the fluidity of figure and ground to be convincingly stilled. The intrigue is all about the materiality of paint, favoured for its capacity to be mutable, malleable and eventually yielding.

    Artist Studio Group: 2017-  Riverside House Studios, Navigator North & East Street Arts, Middlesbrough, Teesside 2016-17 Keld House Artist Studio, Navigator North & East Street Arts, Thornaby, Stockton on Tees, Teesside 2014-15 Platform Arts Studios, Lee House, Peterlee.

    Practice Research Visits: 2019 Headlands, Elizabeth Magill: New Art Gallery, Walsall. 2018 The Nonument – Affinity and Allusion: Klaus Weber, Collective, Edinburgh. 2018 At The Gates and Tremble, Tremble: Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh. 2018 Summer Jam, A painting show: W139 Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 2017 The Discovery of Mondriaan, Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, Netherlands 2017 Art in a Time of Interregnum, BAK Summer School, Utrecht, Netherlands 2017 Philip Guston and the Poets, Gallerie dell Accademia, Venice, Italy 2017 Viva Arte Viva, 57th Venice Biennale, Italy

    Public Exhibitions: 2018 Stockton Contemporary, The Auxiliary Project Space, Stockton on Tees. 2018 'Parallel Tracking- the curious case of abstraction' , Platform-A Gallery, Middlesbrough. 2017 Conversations in painting: ‘if it fits in the Fiesta you’re in…’ Crown Street Gallery, Darlington. 2017 Crossing Borders - site-specific installation, Felix the Gallery, Middlesbrough Art Weekender. 2016 Artist in Residence Exhibition, Das Spectrum, Utrecht, Netherlands. 2015 'Fast Forward, Rewind and Walk On'  Platform Arts, Peterlee.