British Contemporary Figurative Painting

Best 25 Figurative Painters of the United Kingdom

Collage of portraits of the 25 most important living figurative painters from the United Kingdom.

Featured artists:

David Hockney / Peter Doig / Glenn Brown / Lynette Yiadom-Boakye / Chris Ofili / Jenny Saville / Mark Alexander / Nigel Cooke / Kaye Donachie / Ged Quinn / Wolfe von Lenkiewicz / Caroline Walker / James White / Paul Winstanley / Clare Woods / Gillian Carnegie / Ken Currie / Laura Lancaster / Justin Mortimer / Christopher Orr / Richard Patterson / Jonathan Wateridge / Richard Wathen / Alison Watt / Stuart Pearson Wright

It is fair to say the United Kingdom has always had a strong affinity towards painting and art in general. As a result, when it comes to art it is no surprise to ascertain the rich history, heritage and connection rooted in the DNA of Britain. Think of the 18th century Grand Tours, artists such as J. M. W. Turner or John Constable, the dazzling collection of the British Museum or the democratic policy towards the availability and accessibility of this collection and heritage for the British people.

In fact, one must not travel too far in time to discover the prolific importance of the United Kingdom in the art world. When it comes to figurative painting in recent art history, there have been several British painters whom are of vital importance for the renewed interest in figurative painting in the 70s and 80s of the previous century, as well as for figurative painters today.

The protagonists I am referring to are the main representatives of the so called School of London. The term was initiated in the 70s by the American R.B. Kitaj (1932-2007) to describe a specific group of London-based painters on the occasion of an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London which consisted of exclusively figurative drawings and paintings. In an era dominated by abstract, conceptual and minimal art, the figurative pursuit of the artists in question was controversial, contested, but also immersive and inspiring.[1]

From left to right Timothy Behrens, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach and Michael Andrews at Wheeler’s restaurant, Soho, 1963. Photograph: The John Deakin Archive/Getty Images.

Today, these main representatives of the School of London are one by one the most important (figurative) painters of our recent past, such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and David Hockney. For instance, the impulses of the School of London co-initiated with Neo-Expressionism of the 80s and 90s, as well as the general trend of New European Painting. Even today, the current international wave of New Figurative Painting is marked by these iconic figures.

However, for this article we aren't aiming to offer a retrospective overview of the British canon of recent art history and painting. In fact, we aim to present a relevant sketch of the current landscape of contemporary figurative painters. Doing so, an objective, argued, measurable and thus reasoned selection of the top 25 living British painters originated.

Note: Hence the art world is continuously subject to change, the top 25 list is not to be interpreted as a ranking but as a cross section of the most influential and important artists based on the following criteria: the career trend, Artfacts ranking, (established) representation, included in shows at major/relevant institutions and galleries, participations in biennials, reviewed by distuingished art publications, featured in important public and private collections and specific career highlights.

1/25: David Hockney (b. 1937)

Portrait of David Hockney. Photo: David Rose / The Telegraph.

David Hockney, born in 1937 in Bradford, England, resides and works in Los Angeles, United States. We have already mentioned Hockney in our introduction when discussing the School of London, and yet again, I aim to stress to importance of Hockney as a living icon of contemporary art and British (figurative) painting.

Hockney's career and oeuvre is strongly marked by his personal experiences and environment, pioneering British Pop Art and beyond. In the 60s, the British artist moved to California resulting in his internationally lauded and characteristic paintings of the exotic and sensual life by the pool and palm trees.[2]

An anthology of Hockney's oeuvre:

David Hockney, Portrait of an artist (Pool with two figures), 1972. Acrylic on canvas – 213.5 x 305 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967. Acrylic on canvas – 242,5 x 243,9 cm. Collection Tate.

David Hockney, Man in shower in Beverly Hills, 1964. Acrylic on canvas – 167,3 x 167 cm. Collection Tate.

2/25: Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Portrait of Peter Doig in his studio. Photo: Martin Godwin.

Peter Doig, born in 1959 in Edinburgh, Scotland, lives and works in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. As with David Hockney, Doig is one of the more important figures from our selection of twenty-five artists and is one of the world's most influential artists today.

Doig is known for his dreamlike paintings drenched in an aura of enigma. The source material for his paintings are most often, photographs, films, etchings and personal memories. Doig grew up in Canada which clearly has had an influence on his work. Think of the lakes, forests, canoes and cabins, characteristic recurring motives within the oeuvre for the illustrious British painter.[3]

An anthology of Doig's oeuvre:

Peter Doig, Echo Lake, 1998. Oil on canvas – 230,5 x 360,5. Collection Tate.

Peter Doig, Canoe-Lake, 1997. Oil on Canvas – 200 x 300 cm. Courtesy Saatchi Gallery.

Peter Doig, Concrete Cabin, 1994. Oil on Canvas – 198 x 275 cm. Courtesy Saatchi Gallery.

3/25: Glenn Brown (b. 1966)

Portrait of Glenn Brown in his studio. Photo: Elena Cué.

Glenn Brown, born in Hexham, England, lives and works in London and Suffolk, England. Brown has distuingished himself with his dynamic trompe-l'oeils of heavy impasto's, which in reality are smooth two-dimensional strokes of paint.

With this characteristic imagery, Brown examines art history, popular culture and found images as source material to distort and manipulate. Often, Brown takes on classical paintings or poses with his colourful and by times eclectic style.[4]

An anthology of Brown's oeuvre:

Glenn Brown, Die Mutter des Künstlers, 2016. Oil on panel – 200 × 161.9 cm. Courtesy Gagosian.

Glenn Brown, Wild Horses, 2007. Oil on panel – 133 × 102.1 cm. Courtesy Gagasion.

Glenn Brown, Dirty, 2003. Oil on panel – 267 × 210,6. Courtesy Gagosian.

4/25: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977)

Portrait of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye next to her work. Photo: Sergey Illin.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, born in 1977 in London, England, resides and works in London, England. The internationally reputed artist is known for her captivating imagery of mostly black human figures in isolated and dark backgrounds.

The Future Generation Art Prize-winner follows her natural intuition when painting, marked by delicate and strong brushstrokes. As a black female artist, one tends to interpret her works from a socio-political and activist perspective. However, the starting point is always the language of painting and its history.[5]

An anthology of Yiadom-Boakye's oeuvre:

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Matches, 2015. Oil on canvas – dimensions unknown. Courtesy Serpentine Galleries, London.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, 4am Friday, 2015. Oil on canvas – dimensions unknown. Courtesy Serpentine Galleries, London.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Quartz, 2013. Oil on canvas – 142 × 130 cm. Courtesy Rosenfeld, London.

5/25: Chris Ofili (b. 1968)

Portrait of Chris Ofili. Photo: The Telegraph.

Chris Ofili, born in 1968 in Manchester, England, resides and works in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The British painter is known for his colourful palette and textures via collage of glitter, dots and more, resulting in impressive and characteristic tableaus.[6]

The YBA (Young British Artists) Turner Prize-Winner examines Nigerian history, African culture, black stereotypes and exoticism in a narrative inspired by various issues such as religion, film, popular culture and personal experiences.[7]

An anthology of Ofili's oeuvre:

Chris Ofili, Untitled (Afromuse), 1995-2005. Watercolor and pencil on paper – 24.4 × 15.7 cm. Collection New Museum, New York.

Chris Ofili, The Adoration of Captain Shit and the Legend of the Black Stars (Third Version), 1998. Oil, acrylic, polyester resin, paper collage, glitter, map pins, and elephant dung on linen – 243.8 × 182.9 cm. Collection New Museum, New York.

Chris Ofili, Satyr and Selkie 2, 2020. Oil, charcoal and gold leaf on linen – 157.5 × 96.5 cm. Courtesy Victoria Miro.

6/25: Jenny Saville (b. 1970)

Portrait of Jenny Saville next to her work. Photo: Royal Academy / Widewalls.

Jenny Saville, born in 1970 in Cambridge, England, resides and works in Oxford, England. Saville, an original YBA member, is known for her captivating paintings, merging a Rubens-like appetite for voluptuous bodies with Cubism, American abstraction and a photographic figuration.[8]

The works by the hand of the British painter are characterized by her fascination and pathological perceptions of the body. As a result, Saville depicts meaty and grotesque human bodies, mostly female. Issues such as obesity, gender binary, beauty ideal, the individual perception of the body and more, discussed in a dialogue dominated by flesh.[9]

An anthology of Saville's oeuvre:

Jenny Saville, Brace, 1998-1999. Oil on canvas – 302,3 × 181,6 cm. Courtesy Gagosain.

Jenny Saville, Still, 2003. Oil on canvas – 274,3 × 366,1 × 8,1 cm. Courtesy Gagosian.

Jenny Saville, Odalisque, 2012-2014. Oil and charcoal on canvas – 217 × 236,5 cm. Courtesy Gagosian.

7/25: Mark Alexander (b. 1966)

Portrait of the artist with his work. Photo: Mark Alexander (c).

Mark Alexander, born in 1966 in Horsham, West Sussex, England, resides and works in Berlin, Germany.

His work is marked by his reinterpretations of iconic images of the past, such as cultural objects as the Shield of Achilles or famous portraits. His paintings are characterized by a labour-intensive brushwork. These meticulously rendered paintings combine classicism, photography and contemporary photorealism.

An anthology of Alexander's oeuvre:

Mark Alexander, This Land Is Your Land? This Land Is My Land!, 2019. Oil on canvas – 92 × 73 cm. Courtesy Anthony Wilkinson Gallery.

Mark Alexander, Goldfinch, 2019. Oil on canvas – 76 × 58 cm. Courtesy of Anthony Wilkinson Gallery.

Mark Alexander, Red Mannheim, 2010. Oil on canvas – 258 × 190 cm. Courtesy Anthony Wilkinson Gallery.

8/25: Nigel Cooke (b. 1973)

Portrait of Nigel Cooke in his studio. Photo: Justin Sutcliffe / Independent.

Nigel Cooke, born in Manchester, England, resides and works in Kent, England. Cooke is known for his atmospheric paintings, depicting figures woven into their environment.

The British painter balances between figuration and abstraction, resulting in a distorted visual language. This fragmentation results in a certain ambiguity, where one is not sure anymore if the painting is a portrait, a landscape, a still life, a figurative painting, or an abstract composition.[10]

An anthology of Cooke's oeuvre:

Nigel Cooke, Painter and Viewer, 2007. Oil on canvas – 236.2 × 160 cm. Courtesy Phillips.

Nigel Cooke, In Da Club - Volume One, 2010. Oil on linen backed with sailcloth – 220 × 195 cm. Courtesy Phillips.

Nigel Cooke, Diana, 2017. Oil on linen – 25.5 × 20 cm. Courtesy Phillips.

9/25: Kaye Donachie (b. 1970)

Portrait of Kaye Donachie in her studio. Photo: 2-Times.

Kaye Donachie, born in Glasgow, Scotland, lives and works in London, England. Donachie is known for her portraits, mostly female figures and leaders, rendered in a muted skin tone and cold tones. One can not help but point out the mysterious character of her works.The images have a dreamlike quality, drifting between reality and utopia, rejecting the possibility of a narrative.[11]

An anthology of Donachie's oeuvre:

Kaye Donachie, Silent As Glass, 2018. Oil on linen – 55 x 40 cm. © Kaye Donachie. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London / Hove.

Kaye Donachie, Young moon, 2018. Oil on linen – 50 x 40.5 cm. © Kaye Donachie. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London / Hove.

Kaye Donachie, The eclipse that settled, 2018. Oil on linen – 55.5 x 40.5 cm. © Kaye Donachie. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London / Hove.

10/25: Ged Quinn (b. 1963)

Portrait of Ged Quinn in his studio. Photo: Widewalls.

Ged Quinn, born in Liverpool, England, lives and works in Cornwall, England. Quinn is known for his densely laced paintings, combining art history with symbolism, surrealism and postmodern eclecticism.

As a result, the British painter draws upon mythological references and the tradition of landscape painting, still-life painting and more. From a contemporary perspective, Quinn examines in a postmodern and eclectic manner topics such as religion, politics, literature and film, resisting interpretation.[12]

An anthology of Quinn's oeuvre:

Ged Quinn, Bela Forgets the Scissors, 2016. Oil on linen – 200 × 331 cm. Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery.

Ged Quinn, Mayflies, 2019. Oil on linen – 200 × 246 cm. Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery.

Ged Quinn, The Anxious Attempt of Art to Mourn the Silence of Melancholy Over Everything, 2010. Oil on canvas – 61.5 × 49.5 cm. Courtesy Phillips.

11/25: Wolfe von Lenkiewicz (b. 1966)

Portrait of the artist with his work. Photo: Wiki.

Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, born in Dartmoor, England, lives and works in London, England. The British artist with German-Polish-Jewish roots is known for his reconfigurations of art history's most iconic pictures.

Von Lenkiewicz studied philosophy in the 90s focusing on epistemology, which is strongly reflected in his works as a painter. The paintings by Von Lenkiewicz continuously refer to philosophy. He examines the concept of authorship by manipulating old master paintings with 21st century tools and esthetics.[13]

An anthology of von Lenkiewicz's oeuvre:

Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Harlequin, 2017. Oil on canvas – 85 × 70 cm. Courtesy House of the Nobleman.

Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, The Wine Taster, 2018. Oil on canvas – 95 × 130 cm. Courtesy House of the Nobleman.

Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Rembrandt, 2018. Oil on canvas – 140 × 110 cm. Courtesy Cardi Gallery.

12/25: Caroline Walker (b. 1982)

Portrait of Caroline Walker working in her studio. Photo: Enitharmon editions.

Caroline Walker, born in Dunfermline, Scotland. Lives and works in London, England. Walker is known for her intimate and most often large in scale paintings of women in domestic scenes of everyday life.

Her works cross the boundaries of the public and the private, leaving the viewer feeling as a voyeur gazing in to the private spheres of the depicted subject. Her paintings clearly have a strong narrative character, although the psychologic narrative seems to subvert the main setting. As a result, Walker explores gender identity, femininity and the socio-economic position of women.[14]

An anthology of Walker's oeuvre:

Caroline Walker, Vanity, Room 425, 2018. Oil on board – 43 × 35 cm. Courtesy GRIMM.

Caroline Walker, Ironing Tea Towels, Late Evening, March, 2019. Oil on board – 45 × 36 cm. Courtesy Ingleby Gallery.

Caroline Walker, Not Going Out, 2017. Oil on paper – 47 × 39.4 cm. Courtesy The Watermill Center.

13/25: James White (b. 1967)

Portrait of James White. Photo: Ken Nevis.

James white, born in 1967 in Tiverton, England, lives and works in London, England. White is known for his photorealistic black and white paintings of everyday objects and views.

With his camera, White searches in his environment for interesting objects, settings, and views. By photographing these objects, White transfer this specific moment in time, a snapshot of reality, into painting. Within these paintings, an inexplicable poetry resides commenting on contemporary life and humanity without depicting a single person.[15]

An anthology of White's oeuvre:

James White, A False Sense of Security, 2014. Oil and varnish on birch ply panel in Perspex box frame – 30.5 × 40.6 cm. Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery.

James White, The Wine, 2018. Oil and varnish on acrylic faced honeycomb panel in Perspex box frame – 62 × 72 cm. Courtesy Galerie Greta Meert.

James White, The Foil, 2015. Oil and varnish on acrylic sheet in Perspex box frame – 124.1 × 149.5 cm. Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery.

14/25: Paul Winstanley (b. 1954)

Portrait of Paul Winstanley. Photo: AnnualArtMagazine.

Paul Winstanley, born in 1954 in Manchester, England, lives and works in London, England.

The British painter has established himself as one of the most important painters with his characteristic painted images of so-called semi-public spaces. Winstanley depicts series of works examining rooms such as lobbies, airports, waiting rooms et cetera.[16]

An anthology of Winstanley's oeuvre:

Paul Winstanley, Seminar (Grey), 2014. Oil on linen – 154.9 × 160 cm. Courtesy 1301P.

Paul Winstanley, Art School 44, 2015. Oil on panel – 114 × 76 cm. Courtesy Galerie Andreas Binder.

Paul Winstanley, Ghost, 2015. Oil on linen – 200 × 149.9 cm. Courtesy Mitchill-Ines & Nash.

15/25: Clare Woods (b. 1972)

Portrait of Clare Woods in front of her work. Photo: Clare Woods.

Clare Woods, born in Southampton, England, lives and works in Hereford, England. She is known for sculpting images in paint, resulting in large scale and voluptuous impasto paintings.

Woods is trained as a sculptor resulting in a very physical manner in which she applies paint on to the canvas. She translates her sculptural language in to a two-dimensional imagery, tackling topics such as fragility, vulnerability, mortality and disability.[17]

An anthology of Woods' oeuvre:

Clare Woods, The Last World, 2017. Oil on aluminium – 300 × 200 cm. Courtesy Martin Asbaeck Gallery.

Clare Woods, The World is on Fire, 2020. Oil on aluminium – 250 × 200 cm. Courtesy Buchmann Galerie.

Clare Woods, Cloud, 2019. Oil on aluminium – 100 × 100 cm. Martin Asbaeck Gallery.

16/25: Gillian Carnegie (b. 1971)

Portrait of Gillian Carnegie. Photo: Tarran Burgess.

Gillian Carnegie, born in Suffolk, England, lives and works in London, England.

Often following the traditional categories of painting, Carnegie occupies herself with still life painting, landscapes, figure painting and portraiture with a contemporary twist. Her representational visual language is characterized by the introspective nature of her painted subjects.

An anthology of Carnegie's oeuvre:

Gillian Carnegie, Aminadab, 2015. Oil on board – 74 x 58 cm. Courtesy Dépendance.

Gillian Carnegie, Prince, 2009. Oil on canvas – 47 x 50 cm. Courtesy Dépendance.

Gillian Carnegie, Elgar, 2017. Oil on canvas – 83.82 x 58.42 cm. Courtesy Dépendance.

17/25: Ken Currie (b. 1960)

Portrait of the artist. Photo: BBC.

Ken Currie, born in North Shield, England, lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. The Scottish artist is known for his unsettling paintings of human figures.

Currie's works are marked by figuration, fear and violence. The Glasgow School of Art graduate, who emerged from the so-called New Glasgow Boys in the 80s, tackles the horrors of today and how we experience these horrors. Flesh, blood, and meat are the main protagonists in his dark and surreal settings.[18]

An anthology of Currie's oeuvre:

Ken Currie, New Friend, 2019. Oil on gesso panel – 45.5 × 66 cm. Courtesy Flowers.

Ken Currie, The Executioner 2, 2017. Oil on panel – 46 × 61 cm. Courtesy Flowers.

Ken Currie, Blind Red, 2018. Oil on canvas – 214 × 153 cm. Courtesy Flowers.

18/25: Laura Lancaster (b. 1979)

Portrait of Laura Lancaster. Photo: Chronicle Live.

Laura Lancaster, born in Hartlepool, England. Lives and works in Newcastle, England. Lancaster makes paintings from found images such as photographs and stills from films.

The works of the British painter are characterized by the balance of figuration and abstraction. The abstraction of the brushstrokes often takes over the image, however the figuration remains present and functions as a guideline for the composition, resulting in a dreamlike vision.[19]

An anthology of Lancaster's oeuvre:

Laura Lancaster, Postponement, 2020. Acrylic on linen – 24 × 30 cm. Courtesy WORKPLACE.

Laura Lancaster, Untitled, 2014. Acrylic on linen – 50 × 40 cm. Courtesy WORKPLACE.

Laura Lancaster, Head, 2017. Oil and acrylic on canvas – 100 × 80 cm. Courtesy WORKPLACE.

19/25: Justin Mortimer (b. 1970)

Portrait of Justin Mortimer in his studio.

Justin Mortimer, born in Cosford, England, lives and works in London, England. Mortimer makes surrealistic paintings – most often large in scale – of apocalyptic landscapes and settings marked by a darker atmosphere.

The British painter starts his works by cutting and pasting found imagery from second hand books, magazines, war photography and more, into new settings by manner of digital collage resulting in new and above all intriguing narratives.

Discover more about Justin Mortimer's works by reading our artist spotlight on the British painter here.

An anthology of Mortimer's works:

Justin Mortimer, It is here, 2016. Oil and acrylic on canvas — 214 x 214 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Parafin, London.

Justin Mortimer, Breed 1, 2018. Oil and acrylic on canvas — 240 x 178 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Parafin, London.

Justin Mortimer, Plantation, 2014. Oil on canvas — 180 x 220 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Parafin, London.

20/25: Christopher Orr (b. 1967)

Portrait of Christopher Orr. Photo: Royal Academy of Arts.

Christopher Orr, born in Helensburgh, Scotland, lives and works in London, England. Orr's paintings invite us in an entirely different world, marked by the sublime, beauty and the inexplicable seductive character of virtuoso brushstrokes which makes us fall in love with a painting over and over again.

Christopher Orr depicts idyll scenes such as landscapes, forests and more. Most often small in scale, the paintings carry a certain intimacy. The romantic nature of his images is juxtaposed with the postmodern and eclectic character of the subject depicted in these idyll scenes, resulting in often subtle surrealistic analogies and readings.[20]

An anthology of Orr's oeuvre:

Christopher Orr, Geometry, 2005. Oil on linen – 25.3 × 20.1 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Phillips.

Christopher Orr, The Thin Air, 2009. Oil on linen – 18.6 × 16 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Phillips.

Christopher Orr, Untitled (Man). Oil, oil stick and spray paint on linen – 51 × 61 cm. Courtesy Arusha Gallery.

21/25: Richard Patterson (b. 1963)

Portrait of the artist. Photo: Artnet.

Richard Patterson, born in Leatherhead, England. Lives and works in Dallas, Texas, United States of America.

Patterson's paintings are characterized by complex layers of paintings, prints or sculptures which he describes as hyperabstraction. Drawing inspiration and source material from popular culture, photography, magazines and even from film, Patterson builds collages depicting an amalgam of subjects such as porn stars, toys, animals and himself.[21]

An anthology of Patterson's work:

Richard Patterson, The Kennington Years, 2001. Oil on canvas – 238.8 × 299.7 cm. Courtesy The FLAG Art Foundation.

Richard Patterson, Raymond, 2011. Oil on canvas – 92.7 × 73.7 × 10.2 cm. Courtesy Timothy Taylor.

Richard Patterson, Anna, 2013. Oil on canvas – 51.4 × 66 cm. Courtesy The Flag ART Foundation.

22/25: Jonathan Wateridge (b. 1972)

Portrait of Jonathan Watering in his studio. Photo: FAD Magazine.

Jonathan Wateridge, born in Lusaka, Zambia, lives and works in Norfolk, England. His paintings seem to be a documentation or a snapshot of certain narrative events such as people bathing or having a nap. However, these images are an artificially created so-called non-event directed by the artist.

Wateridge recreates a certain scenario in which he builds a full-scale set of the surroundings populated by performers enacting certain roles. This process takes place in the artist studio. The images are often banal and a depiction of everyday life.[22]

An anthology of Wateridge's oeuvre:

Jonathan Wateridge, Boys, 2017. Oil on linen – 165 × 165 cm. Courtesy Charlie Smith, London.

Jonathan Wateridge, Late Swim, 2019. Oil on linen – 200 × 150 × 5 cm. Courtesy TJ Boulting.

Jonathan Wateridge, (His) Long Day in the Sun, 2020. Oil on linen – 110 × 75 × 3 cm. Courtesy TJ Boulting.

23/25: Richard Wathen (b. 1971)

Portrait of Richard Wathen in his studio. Photo: Execute Magazine.

Richard Wathen, born in London, England, lives and works in Suffolk, England.

Wathen's paintings depict subjects in a pose of isolation in a monochromatic and flat space. The British artist paints these figures gazing directly to the viewer. Further, when one looks more closely, certain elements are off in the paintings which results in a series of unanswered questions.

An anthology of Wathen's oeuvre:

Richard Wathen, The Moonbather, 2014. Oil on linen – 61 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Richard Wathen, Mantle, 2014. Oil on linen – 61 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Richard Wathen, Ogmore, 2014. Oil on linen – 61 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

24/25: Alison Watt (b. 1965)

Portrait of Alison Watt. Photo: James Glossop / The Times.

Alison Watt born in Greenock, Scotland, lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Watt is known for her naturalistic paintings of draperies and figures. She approaches these draperies as an interplay between abstraction and figuration. The winner of the Portrait Award of the National Portrait Gallery takes a minimalistic approach to these objects, searching for new understandings of their form.[23]

An anthology of Watt's oeuvre:

Alison Watt, Flex, 2017. Oil on canvas – 152.4 × 121.9 cm. Courtesy Parafin Gallery, London.

Alison Watt, Drift, 2015. Oil on canvas – 120 × 80 cm. Courtesy Parafin Gallery, London.

Alison Watt, Quarto, 2017. Oil on canvas – 152.4 × 152.4 cm. Courtesy Parafin Gallery, London.

25/25: Stuart Pearson Wright (b. 1975)

Portrait of the artist in his studio. Photo: ING.

Stuart Pearson Wright, born in Northampton, England, lives and works in Suffolk, England.

Wright is known for his paintings of figures rendered in a mannerist manner full of detail and naturalism. One of the key topics throughout his work is identity, as if the subject plays a certain character when being depicted. Intrigued by this middle ground between the two identities, genuine and acted, Wright searches for a visualization of this in-between state.

An anthology of Wright's oeuvre:

Stuart Pearson Wright, Wheateaters, 2014. Oil on linen – 40.5 × 60 cm. Courtesy Flowers.

Stuart Pearson Wright, Tonnara Di Scopello, 2013. Oil on linen – 65 × 55 cm. Courtesy Flowers.

Stuart Pearson Wright, Katrina, 2020. Oil and pigment gesso on oak – 20.5 × 17 cm. Courtesy Flowers.

Edited and written by Julien Delagrange

Published online on 27/12/2020 by Contemporary Art Issue © 2020


[1] Tate, School of London at consulted 11/12/2020.

[2] Artsy, David Hockney at consulted 11/12/2020.

[3] Artsy, Peter Doig at consulted 11/12/2020.

[4] Gagosian, Glenn Brown at consulted 11/12/2020.

[5] Artsy, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at consulted 11/12/2020.

[6] Artnet, Chris Ofili at consulted 12/12/2020.

[7] Artsy, Chris Ofili at consulted 12/12/2020.

[8] Artsy, Jenny Saville at consulted 14/12/2020.

[9] Julien Delagrange, Apologia. Kortrijk: Contemporary Art Issue, 2020.

[10] Pace, Nigel Cooke at consulted 17/12/2020.

[11] Artnet, Kaye Donachie at consulted 17/12/2020.

[12] Stephen Friedman Gallery, Ged Quinn at consulted 17/12/2020.

[13] Gallery Michael Haas, Wolfe von Lenkiewicz at consulted 17/12/2020.

[14] GRIMM, Caroline Walker at consulted 17/12/2020.

[15] Artsy, James White at consulted 24/12/2020.

[16] Artsy, Paul Winstanley at consulted 24/12/2020.

[17] Simon Lee, Clare Woods at consulted 24/12/2020.

[18] Flowers Gallery, Ken Currie at consulted 26/12/2020.

[19] WORKPLACE Gallery, Laura Lancaster at consulted 26/12/2020.

[20] Artsy, Christopher Orr at consulted 26/12/2020.

[21] Artsy, Richard Patterson at consulted 26/12/2020.

[22] Jonathan Wateridge, About at consulted 26/12/2020.

[23] Artnet, Alison Watt at consulted 26/12/2020

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