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Pitch, Phoebe Unwin, 2019, oil on canvas, 51 x 41 cm
Leaning Figure on Soft Ground
Leaning Figure on Soft Ground, Phoebe Unwin, 2015, Indian ink and acrylic size on canvas 185 x 220 cm
Cinema, Phoebe Unwin, 2010, acrylic, graphite and household paint on canvas, 51 x 40.5 cm
Vessel, Phoebe Unwin, 2019, acrylic and oil on canvas, 183 x 153 cm
Approach, Phoebe Unwin, 2017, oil on canvas, 183 x 153 cm
Man with Heavy Limbs
Man with Heavy Limbs, Phoebe Unwin, 2009, acrylic paint, ink, charcoal and pastel on card and printed paper 146.5 x 100 cm
Thicket, Phoebe Unwin, 2018, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm
Pitch, Phoebe Unwin, 2019, oil on canvas, 51 x 41 cm

Slade School of Fine Art
University College London
Gower Street


Phoebe Unwin was born in Cambridge in 1979. She studied at Newcastle University (BA Hons 1998 – 2002) and Slade School of Fine Art (MFA 2002 – 2005). Recent exhibitions include 'Osmosis', Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London (solo, 2020); 'Iris', Towner Gallery, Eastbourne UK (solo, 2019); 'The Aerodrome', Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2019); 'Field', Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy (solo, 2018); 'Home and Unhome', Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and Contemporary Art Centre, Chongqing, China (group, 2020); 'Le Realtà Ordinarie', Banca di Bologna, Bologna (group, 2020); 'Cet Elixir', Moly-Sabata Fondation Albert Gleizes, Sablons, France (group, 2019); 'The Day in the Evening', Space K, Seoul (group, 2018); ‘31 Women’ Breese Little Gallery, London (group, 2017); ‘Portrait, for a Screenplay, of Beth Harmon’ Tenderpixel, London (group, 2017); ‘Illicit Flowers’ Stiftung Museum Schloss Moyland, Germany (group, 2016); ‘Towards Night’ Towner Gallery, Eastbourne (group, 2016); ‘Walk Through 500 Years of British Art’ Tate Britain, London (group, 2016); ‘Distant People and Self-Soothing Objects’, Wilkinson Gallery, London (solo, 2015); ‘One Day Something Happens: Paintings of People, work selected from the Arts Council Collection by Jennifer Higgie’ (group, 2015-16); ‘Emotional Resources’, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (group, 2014-15) and The British Art Show 7 ‘The Days of the Comet’, a Hayward Gallery National Touring Exhibition (group, 2010-11).

Her work is held in both private and public collections including Tate Collection, UK; Arts Council Collection, UK; Saatchi Collection, London; Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut; Government Art Collection, UK; Kolon Group Collection, Seoul; Jiménez-Colón Collection, Ponce; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia; HSBC, London; Fenberger House, Nagano Prefecture, Japan; British Council Collection, UK; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and Southampton City Art Gallery.

Research Summary

Phoebe Unwin's paintings explore perceptions of everyday experience. Her invented figurative images and their corresponding relation to mark, scale and colour, fuse to visually articulate the variety of feelings invested in looking.


Painters ± Collection 2021
2021 - Nakata Art Museum, Hiroshima, Japan

2020 - Arcade Gallery, London, UK ; Vortic online platform

La Diablesse
2020 - Tramps, London, UK

Le Realta Ordinarie
2020 - Banca di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Cet Elixir
2019 - Moly-Sabata Fondation Albert Gliezes, Sablons, France

2019 - Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

The Aerodrome
2019 - Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK

2018 - Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London UK; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne UK

Pregnant Landscape
2018 - Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London

The Day in the Evening
2018 - Space K Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

A Poem for Raoul and Agnes
2017 - Ancient and Modern, London

‘A Poem for rAoul And Agnes’
selected by Sherman Sam
3 July ~ 6 September 2014
Opening Wednesday 2 July, 18.00 ~ 20.00
Ann Craven, Matthias Dornfeld, Roy Dowell, Fergus Feehily Jane Freilicher, Clive Hodgson, Eithne Jordan, Alex Katz Markus Karstieß, Winifred Nicholson, Norbert Prangenberg Audrey Reynolds, Phoebe Unwin

31 Women
2017 - Breese Little Gallery, London

Portrait for a Screenplay of Beth Harmon
2017 - Tenderpixel Gallery, London, UK

Solo Presentation
2016 - Saatchi Gallery London

Towards Night
2016 - Towner Gallery Eastbourne

Walk Through 500 Years of British Art
2016 - Tate Britain, London, UK

Ghosts of Other Stories: The British Council Collection
2016 - The Model

The Model is delighted to partner with the British Council in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising on an exhibition drawn from the British Council Collection. Art collections by their very nature rarely convey a definitive narrative of the development of artistic practice. In many ways they come into being hostages of fortune, with acquisitions dictated by the shifting economic, political and social concerns of their time. Each collection is a babble of riotous voices telling of the myriad concerns and questions at the heart of every individual artwork. Narrative threads once caught, quite often disappear, giving us glimpses but rarely the full story.

Ghosts of Other Stories explores works within the British Council Collection where threads of lost stories or forgotten histories flash momentarily into the light. Each work has at its heart an elusive or mysterious quality that speaks of a story passing into history untold, unheard or interrupted.

The exhibition includes works by Tomma Abts, Ed Atkins, Bank, Tacita Dean, Ryan Gander, Graham Gussin, Merlin James, Rosalind Nashashibi, Mike Nelson, Susan Philipsz, Wolfgang Tillmans, Phoebe Unwin, Rachel Whiteread and Cerith Wyn Evans.

Illusive Flowers
2016 - Museum Schloss Moyland

Lasst Blumen sprechen!
Blumen und künstliche Natur seit 1960

One Day Something Happens: Paintings of People, a selection by Jennifer Higgie from the Arts Council Collection
2016 - Hayward Gallery National Touring Exhibitions, UK

Distant People and Self-Soothing Objects
2015 - Wilkinson Gallery, London

Emotional Resources
2014 - National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland

Exhibition dates: 19 September 2014 - 10 January 2015.

Main Gallery: Victor Alimpiev, Amalia Ulman, Johann Arens, Renate Bertlmann, Ian Breakwell, Harry Burke, Moyra Davey, Július Koller, Daniel Lichtman, Harry Meadley, Erica Scourti, Matthew Smith, Pilvi Takala, Marie Toseland, Phoebe Unwin, Donald Urquhart
Project Space: Joanna Piotrowska

"To intimate is to communicate with the sparest of signs and gestures, and at its root intimacy has the quality of eloquence and brevity" - Lauren Berlant

What does it mean to convert private experience into public speech? Emotional Resources is a group exhibition that brings together art works from an international group of artists from the Seventies to the present day, exploring forms of intimacy and the everyday. The artists employ a range of approaches and media, including painting, video, photography and performance. Alongside the group show NGCA will present Polish photographer Joanna Piotrowska's first solo exhibition, s.w.a.l.k. (sealed with a loving kiss) in the Project Space. From the tender touch to an awkward embrace the exhibitions ask, how did the public sphere become saturated with the exposure of private life?

The artworks shift between embodied forms of conversation such as speech and gesture towards more textual forms of communication, registering a curiosity in the overlooked details of daily life. Intimacy, to paraphrase Lauren Berlant, has the ability to repel the rhetoric and logic of law and politics within the public sphere and engender more intuited relationships. We can see the love letter in the workplace as a radical act; vulnerability and awkwardness can be a quest for something more authentic. At a moment when the division between private and public is increasingly dissolved, how do we value emotionalism?

Central to the exhibition is Ping-Pong (U.F.O.) (1970-onwards), a functioning Ping-Pong table by Július Koller. The work attempts to disarm the usual expectations of a gallery environment and calls for a more playful and social engagement with public space. Working in Communist Czechoslovakia throughout the Seventies and Eighties, Koller's work offered a spirited counterpoint to a society that was increasingly governed by bureaucracy. This serves as a guiding principle for 'Emotional Resources', and suggests that it is valuable to assert our personal histories and actual bodies into public concerns.

Emotional Resources is the first project curated by George Vasey since joining the organization.

Opere dalla collezione di Mario Testino
2014 - Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

Opere dalla collezione di Mario Testino
dal 17/05/2014 al 14/09/2014
Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli
Studio dell'artista Elliot Hundley a New York, fotografato da Mario Testino
“Somos libres” inizia così l’inno nazionale del Perù, patria di Mario Testino (Lima, 1954). Essere libero (e rimanerlo) è ciò che ha sempre ispirato il lavoro del famoso fotografo di moda.
Per capire esattamente cosa ha influenzato nel tempo lo stile del fotografo, ci pensa una collettiva ospitata alla Pinacoteca Agnelli.
La mostra è un viaggio nella collezione privata di Testino. Si inizia con alcune immagini a studi d’artista scattate dallo stesso Testino e si finisce con l'indagare il mondo visto e interpretato dalla lente fotografica quanto dall’occhio e i profondi nessi tra i linguaggi dell’arte, della fotografia pubblicitaria e di moda.
Somos Libres II, a cura di Neville Wakefield, inaugura il 17 maggio alla Pinacoteca Agnelli.
Termina il 14 settembre.
Artisti in mostra:
Francis Alÿs, Nobuyoshi Araki, Diane Arbus, Tauba Auerbach, Richard Avedon, Hernan Bas, Cecil Beaton, Erwin Blumenfeld, Michaël Borremans, Cris Brodahl, Glenn Brown, Yul Brynner, Nicholas Byrne, Gillian Carnegie, Larry Clark, Anne Collier, Nigel Cooke, Verne Dawson, Marlene Dumas, Martin Eder, William Eggleston, Cyprien Gaillard, Nan Goldin, Andy Hope 1930, George Hoyningen-Huene, William Klein, Cary Kwok,Glenn Ligon, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jonathan Meese, Jonathan Monk, Katy Moran,Helmut Newton, Chris Ofili, Paul P., Horst P. Horst, Martin Parr, Irving Penn, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Peyton, George Platt Lynes, Ged Quinn, Bob Richardson, Herb Ritts, Ugo Rondinone, Wilhelm Sasnal, Steven Shearer, Cindy Sherman Daniel Sinsel,John Stezaker, Rudolf Stingel, Neil Tait, Phoebe Unwin, Adriana Varejão, Chris von Wangenheim, Andy Warhol, Mathew Weir, Kehinde Wiley, Katharina Wulff, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Lisa Yuskavage.
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DISPLAYS: Three Women Painters: Phoebe Unwin, Clare Woods and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
2014 - Contemporary Art Society

Showcasing new paintings we have recently purchased for museums, this display provides a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the work of these three prominent female artists.

To Tell Them Where It’s Got To by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was presented to Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery, which has a strong holding of works by English artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, including ‘traditional’ portraiture. Clare Woods’ landscape painting, Obscene Porridge, was purchased for Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle. The museum’s rural surroundings have made landscape a key feature of its collection. Concrete Ball by Phoebe Unwin was purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for Southampton City Art Gallery. At the core of Southampton’s collection is British 20th century and contemporary painting and sculpture.

There was an Artist Talk at the Contemporary Art Society on 15 May 2014. To view to the talk click here

I Cheer a Dead Man's Sweetheart
2014 - De La Warr Pavilion

I Cheer a Dead Man’s Sweetheart is both a celebration and an exploration of painting in Britain today, presenting the recent work of twenty-one living artists whose practices span six decades.

The exhibition takes its title from the last verse of the poem Is My Team Ploughing by A. E. Housman, first published in 1896. As a conversation between a dead man and his living friend who is now with the girlfriend he left behind, it serves as an allegory for the influence of the past and its evolving significance in contemporary painting practice.

Iconic figures such as Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff are presented next to other established, mid-career and emerging artists such as Gary Wragg, Phoebe Unwin and Joella Wheatley.

Using a range of techniques, the paintings reveal intriguing and surprising connections and contrasts as well as the underlying preoccupations of the artists after long periods spent working in their studios.

The paintings have been selected to evoke an immediate response both to the works themselves and the process of painting and to encourage visitors to make their own connections between these apparently different approaches. The result is a particular perspective on painting in contemporary Britain.

2014 - Oriel Sycharth Gallery, Wales, UK


This show broadly focuses on fabric not only in the sense of textiles but also as in the texture of reality and phenomena. Fabric (in the sense of cloth) can be used as a signifier, associated with social class and history, or as in the case of military uniforms or decorations as an indicator of rank, achievement, or valour. Fabric broadly speaking also includes the ‘fabric of the universe’, things we cannot see and the materials that are used to capture/isolate them. Fabric may be explored in relation to the Kantian notion of the thing-in-itself. Although we cannot see things apart from the way we do in fact see them, we can think them apart from our mode of perception, thus making the thing-in-itself a kind of independent object or object of thought/intellect. In this way we can use fabric as a starting point for work through which we can explore the very nature of existence, matter and reality.

The Presence of People and Shapes
2013 - Wilkinson Gallery


Phoebe Unwin
2012 - The Corridor, Reykjavik, Iceland

The Nails, The Colours, The Mast
2012 - Kotti-Shop, Berlin

The Nail, The Colours, The Mast was a group exhibition at Kotti Shop, Berlin. From the preview text - "'The Nail, The Colours, The Mast' is a dismantling of the expression 'Nailing one's colours to the mast'. The original phrase, which means to defiantly state an opinion and stick to it, has its origins in nautical history. One signal of communication used by 17th C shipmates, was to lower the colours (flags) as a sign of defeat, so to physically nail the colours to the mast meant 'No Surrender!'".

Fade Away
2011 - Transition Gallery, London, touring to Gallery North, Newcastle.

Group painting exhibition curated by Ali Sharma. Catalogue with text by Barry Schwabsky published for the exhibition. Gallery North is a public gallery at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

A Sort of Night to the Mind, A Kind of Night For Our Thoughts
2011 - Arch 402

Arch 402 Gallery is delighted to present A Sort of Night to the Mind, A KIND OF NIGHT FOR OUR THOUGHTS, an exhibition of twenty-three UK based artists engaged with painting. Curated by Moyra Derby and Bob Matthews, the exhibition will also host a series of talks and educational events led by some of the featured artists [further information to follow]. Two alternative translations of Honoré de Balzac's description of illusion from the 1832 short story ‘The Purse' provide the title for this exhibition. First shown at The Herbert Read Gallery in Canterbury, this exhibition demonstrates the recurring relevance of illusion and in counterpoint, materiality.

Man made
2011 - Wilkinson Gallery, London, U.K.

Days of the Comet, British Art Show 7
2010 - Hayward National Travelling Exhibitions, showing at: Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham UK; Hayward Gallery, London UK; CCA Glasgow, Scotland and Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth UK.

"The British Art Show is widely recognized as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art. BAS7 is curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton and includes work by 39 artists from the last five years, three quarters of which is seen here for the first time."

"... avant il n'y avait rien, après on va pouvoir faire mieux."
2010 - CIRCUIT, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lausanne

Contemporary drawing exhibition

Le Deuill
2010 - IFF Gallery, Marseille, France

Exploring notions of mourning in contemporary art.

Newspeak: British Art Now (Part 1)
2010 - Saatchi Gallery, The Duke of York's HQ, Sloane Sq, London, UK

Survey show of contemporary British art. All works are from the Saatchi Collection.

Making an Outside Space Theirs
2009 - Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.

Jerwood Contemporary Painters
2009 - Jerwood Space, London

Emerging contemporary painters. Touring to Leeds Project Space, University of Gloucestershire, Gallery at NorwichUniversity

'Feelings and Other Forms'
2008 - Wilkinson, London

M25: Around London
2008 - CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain

Contemporary art from London.

Jeckyll Island
2008 - Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.

Notations- A Celebration of John Cage
2008 - Slade School of Art, UCL, London UK

Exploration between visual art and music

A Short Walk from a Shout to a Whisper
2007 - Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes UK

Public museum solo exhibition and catalogue publication.

The Contented Heart
2007 - W139, Amsterdam

Group contemporary painting exhibition, showing 8 artists from UK, Holland and Germany.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
2007 - Galleri Faurschou

Contemporary Artists and Late Picasso

Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative
2007 - Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK

Saturn Falling
2007 - The Corridor, Iceland

The Grand and the Commonplace
2006 - Wilkinson Gallery, London, U.K.

First solo exhibition.

Augnablik: The Blink of an Eye
2005 - Govett-Kerr, Hoxton Square, London

Three recent Slade Graduates

Between Courage and Coincidence
2005 - Ibid Projects, Vilnius, Lithuania

- Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA

Exhibition exploring design and art relationships.


Le Realta Ordinarie
- Book , Banca Di Bologna , edited by Davide F 2020/01/21

Field - Phoebe Unwin
- Book , Silvana Editoriale 2020/02/02

Phoebe Unwin: Field
- Journal Article for Studio International 2018/10/22

Three Painters Exploring the Edge of Form
- Journal Article for Frieze magazine 2018/08/18

Colour became the subject- Phoebe Unwin on her new series of paintings
- Journal Article for Apollo Magazine 2018/10/19

The Exhibition of a Film
- Book , Les Presses du Reel 2016/10/01

Review: Distant People and Self-Soothing Objects
- Journal Article for Artforum online 2015/10/12

Distant People and Self-Soothing Objects
- Book , Wilkinson Gallery , edited by Unwin PC,Wilkinson A 2015/01/01

Phoebe Unwin: Distant People and Self-Soothing Objects
- Journal Article for Four by Three Magazine 2015/11/16

One Day Something Happens: Paintings of People essays and interviews by Jennifer Higgie
- Book , Hayward National Touring Exhibitions 2015/10/05

Opere Dalla Collezione Di Mario Testino
- Book , Rizzoli Publishing 2014/10/05

Review: The Presence of People and Shapes
- Journal Article for Frieze magazine 2013/11/01

The Quiet Theatre
- Book , Sister Mag Press in association with Hobbs McLaughlin Publishing 2012/05/06

Recent British Painting
- Book , Grimm Gallery Publications, Amsterdam 2012/10/18

Vitamin P2
- Book , Phaidon 2011/03/09

Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and Their Studios
- Book , Thames and Hudson 2011/03/19

Phoebe Unwin: Manmade
- Journal Article for Artforum International , published by Artforum 2011/02/01

Artist of the Week 121: Phoebe Unwin
- Journal Article for Guardian Online 2011/01/12

- Book , Saatchi Gallery 2010/06/01

In the Days of the Comet: British Art Show 7
- Book , Hayward Gallery Publishing 2010/10/23

Younger Than Jesus
- Book , The New Museum, New York 2009/04/08

Feelings and Other Forms
- Book , Wilkinson Gallery, London, UK , edited by Wilkinson A 2008/10/05

A Short Walk from a Shout to a Whisper
- Book , Milton Keynes Gallery, London, UK , edited by Michael S 2007/09/17

Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative
- Book , Thomas Dane Gallery 2007/03/15

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
- Book , Galleri Faurschou 2007/03/03

Arts Council Collection
- Artwork

UK Government Art Collection
- Artwork

CCA Andratx, Mallorca Collection
- Artwork

British Council Collection
- Artwork

Tate Gallery Collection
- Artwork

Saatchi Collection, London
- Artwork

Southampton City Art Gallery, Collection
- Artwork

Fenberger House Collection, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
- Artwork

Kolon Group Collection, Seoul, South Korea
- Artwork

Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy
- Artwork

Collezione Di Mario Testino, Italy
- Artwork

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Collection, Rotterdam
- Artwork

Yale Centre for British Art Collection, New Haven, Connecticut
- Artwork

Jiménez-Colón Collection, Ponce
- Artwork

HSBC Art Collection, London
- Artwork