Slade School of Fine Art UCL
Gower Street London WC1E 6BT
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 ‘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). In 2010 she exhibited in the British Art Show 7 ‘The Days of the Comet’, a Hayward Gallery National Touring Exhibition.
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; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia; Fenberger House, Nagano Prefecture, Japan; British Council Collection, UK; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and Southampton City Art Gallery.
Saatchi Gallery London
Ghosts of Other Stories: The British Council Collection2016
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.
Distant People and Self-Soothing Objects2015
Wilkinson Gallery, London
The Presence of People and Shapes2013
The Corridor, Reykjavik, Iceland
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
Wilkinson Gallery, London, U.K.
I contributed 12 paintings I had made in 2010 and 2011 to this solo exhibition, displayed on both floors of the gallery. This body of work focused on my interest in material qualities of colour and form and their relationship to the construction of unique images based on the subject of a familiar object, situation or feeling. A key research imperative for this body of work was to find ways through material experimentation to explore the ‘essence’ of an object or situation- for example the relationship the human form has to a beach or the moment of taking a shower. In order to do this it was important to work from memory to construct the image itself- rather than reproduce an image from a photograph. Equal attention was paid to the way in which the paintings evolved in the studio, responding to the work while making it. This process inspired much material experimentation and resulted in paintings ranging in both size (from approx A4 to 180 x 220cm) and medium (aluminum leaf, oil paint, acrylic paint). An important aim of this research and its realization has been to contribute to a current concerns in painting, and ultimately the wider discourse and developments in contemporary art: namely the challenge of representing the everyday and it’s connotations and power in the handmade painted mark for our time. Wilkinson is a commercial gallery, representing emerging artists to those of international repute (Directors: Amanda and Anthony Wilkinson). ‘Man made’ attracted 4429 visitors (information from Wilkinson). In the lead up to the exhibition I was Artist of the Week for Guardian Online (12.1.11), article by Skye Sherwin. ‘Man made’ has been reviewed by Anthony Byrt in the April edition Artforum International (a leading and influential art magazine specialising in global contemporary art and culture). In April 2011, I gave a lecture at Kingston University, focusing on these paintings. ‘Man made’ has also contributed to my inclusion in the publications: ‘Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting’ published by Phaidon, London, in October 2011, and ‘Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and Their Studios’ published by Transglobe publishing and Thames and Hudson, London, in November 2011.
Days of the Comet, British Art Show 72010
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
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 Theirs2009
Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.
Jerwood Contemporary Painters2009
Jerwood Space, London
Emerging contemporary painters. Touring to Leeds Project Space, University of Gloucestershire, Gallery at NorwichUniversity
'Feelings and Other Forms'2008
I contributed 14 paintings I had made in 2008 to this solo exhibition, displayed on both floors of the gallery. Wilkinson is a commercial gallery, representing emerging artists to those of international repute (Directors: Amanda and Anthony Wilkinson). The research imperative for this work was experimentation with a variety of different types of paint and grounds on canvas. An important aim in making these paintings was to give form to sensation or feeling through the colour, scale, surface and mark. Although the subject matter of this work was of everyday experiences or objects it was also vital to acknowledge the challenge of making this a new contribution to the development of painting and contribute to the wider discourse of contemporary art. The paintings were produced by exploring particular subjects through different materials on canvas and appraising and developing their formal elements. A monograph publication ‘Feelings and Other Forms’ with a text by Jens Hoffmann (now director of the CCA Wattis Institute, SanFrancisco) was produced for the exhibition, published by Wilkinson. The designers of this catalogue are Apfel, a graphic design company specializing in artist, gallery and art institution publications. The design embraced the colour being a starting point for this body of work and created high contrasts between pages.
M25: Around London2008
CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain
Contemporary art from London.
Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.
Notations- A Celebration of John Cage2008
Slade School of Art, UCL, London UK
Exploration between visual art and music
A Short Walk from a Shout to a Whisper2007
Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes UK
Public museum solo exhibition and catalogue publication.
The Contented Heart2007
Group contemporary painting exhibition, showing 8 artists from UK, Holland and Germany.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice2007
Contemporary Artists and Late Picasso
The Corridor, Iceland
Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative2007
Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK
The Grand and the Commonplace2006
Wilkinson Gallery, London, U.K.
First solo exhibition.
Augnablik: The Blink of an Eye2005
Govett-Kerr, Hoxton Square, London
Three recent Slade Graduates
Between Courage and Coincidence2005
Ibid Projects, Vilnius, Lithuania
Exhibition catalogue with text by George Vasey