Jon Bird

    Jon Bird is an artist, writer, curator and academic who lives and works in London. He studied fine art (Sculpture) at Central School of Art and Chelsea School of Art (MA Sculpture) and since 1997 has been Professor of Art and Critical Theory at the School of Art and Design, Middlesex University. Early group exhibitions included ‘Somethings’, Museum of Modern Art Oxford (1970); Serpentine Gallery, London (1971); ‘A Survey of the Avant-garde in Britain’, Hayward Gallery, London (1972); and ‘Radical Attitudes towards the Gallery’, Art Net, London (1977). In the 1980s he discontinued studio work, apart from drawing, for three decades to pursue research (PhD, UCL, 1974–78), teaching, writing and curating, and organised a number of major exhibitions in the UK and abroad on Leon Golub and Nancy Spero, among other artists. He returned to art practice in 2006–07 after studying at the Royal Drawing School, London, and since then has taken part in group shows in the US.

    Statement
    After many years of writing about, and curating contemporary art, the desire to return to studio practice became irresistible. I was accepted onto the postgraduate, one-year drawing programme at the Royal Drawing School, London (2006–07), a year that enabled me to rediscover the routines and rhythms of studio life: of materials, processes, different temporalities – time for error, correction and the slow cycle of art-making. In a previous life as an artist post college, my work was predominantly object based, although drawing always figured prominently in the evolution from idea to realisation. Initially, studio practice focused on investigation into the pattern and trace of momentary perception: the play of light across a surface or through glass; the movement of water driven by current and weather, the texture of rock and the signs of geological formation – mountain, valley, contour and topology; landscape as a mental and physical cartography of the material world and place. Drawing has also been an accompaniment to research and everyday life, from diaristic notation and travelogue, (recording the urban and natural environment) to imaginatively conceptualising a curatorial project; mark-making as a way of seeing and thinking, evidenced in lines, signs, traces (and tracings) and erasure. Work develops in series, either tending towards formal relationships and abstraction, or to the challenge of subverting the overly familiar.

    Links
    www.jonbirdartist.com

    View CV →

    Refraction no 7, charcoal and graphite on paper, 53 x 38 cm

    Refraction no 7, charcoal and graphite on paper, 53 x 38 cm

     

    Refraction no 9, charcoal and conte on paper, 50 x 36 cm

    Refraction no 9, charcoal and conte on paper, 50 x 36 cm

     

    Untitled, 2012, charcoal and conte on paper, 54 x 69 cm

    Untitled, 2012, charcoal and conte on paper, 54 x 69 cm

     

    Untitled, 2016, charcoal and conte on paper, 58 x 69 cm

    Untitled, 2016, charcoal and conte on paper, 58 x 69 cm

     

    Cuillen Ridge, Skye, 2014, conte on paper, 112 x 56 cm

    Cuillen Ridge, Skye, 2014, conte on paper, 112 x 56 cm

     

    Solitude, 2006, charcoal and conte on paper, 45 x 57 cm

    Solitude, 2006, charcoal and conte on paper, 45 x 57 cm

     

    Into the Deep..., triptych, 2007/8, charcoal and conte on paper, 50 x 159 cm

    Into the Deep…, triptych, 2007/8, charcoal and conte on paper, 50 x 159 cm

     

    Ripple, 2016, charcoal, graphite and pastel on paper, 42 x 37 cm

    Ripple, 2016, charcoal, graphite and pastel on paper, 42 x 37 cm

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