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Alison Turnbull: Observatory 15 September–31 October 2010 Hospital 9 April–1 June 2003 | Publications | Editions



Alison Turnbull| Hospital, 2003

Alison Turnbull, Hospital, 2003 (installation view)

Alison Turnbull, Hospital, 2003 (installation view)

Alison Turnbull, Hospital, 2003 (installation view)

Press Information
Alison Turnbull is working on a series of paintings that takes as its starting point architectural drawings for hospitals. A major group of the paintings will be shown for the first time at Matt’s Gallery from April to June 2003.

For the past four years Alison Turnbull has used the abstract language of plan, section and elevation of architectural drawings to generate imagery. The drawings act as blueprints for the paintings; their essential neutrality as objects is transformed by colour and the very specific physical activities of tracing, layering and abrading that activate the painted surface.

More recently, she has been working with ‘found’ architectural drawings of hospitals in different parts of the world and from different periods. Hospitals such as the Asklepeia or ‘dream hospital’ of ancient Greece, a 19th century cancer hospital in New York and a modern military hospital outside Manila in the Philippines. The paintings are informed by the institutional colour schemes found in hospitals, by the ‘clinical’ colours of laboratories, as well as the more unnameable ones of disease, and by art and artefacts related to the period or the site where each hospital is located.

Alison Turnbull’s working process has been described as ‘painstaking’, and is meticulous and time-consuming. Some of the Hospital paintings draw directly on the language of architectural plans, and in others, information is refined and abstracted from the source material. The intensity of surface detail varies from canvas to canvas; from Hospital, Kaedi, an intricate pencil drawing on a grey/ blue ground, to the ‘fleshy’ broad areas of oil paint in Hospital, Calcutta (Eden). This becomes most apparent on a close reading of the work when the emblematic or graphic aspect of each painting is superceded by its physical characteristics as a painted object.

This is Alison Turnbull’s first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery.



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Biography
Born Bogotá, Colombia, Lives and works in London Studied 1978–1981 Bath Academy of Art, Corsham; 1977–1978 West Surrey College of Art and Design; 1975–1977 Academia Arjona, Madrid Solo Exhibitions 2005 Black Borders, Galería Magda Bellotti, Madrid; World in a Chamber, Said Business School, University of Oxford 2003 Hospital, Matt’s Gallery, London 2001 Museum of Modern Art Oxford 2000 Houses into Flats, Milton Keynes Gallery; Mobile Home, London; Cube, Manchester 1997 Gallery A, London 1990 Anne Berthoud Gallery, London 1989 Anne Berthoud Gallery, London Group Exhibitions 2005 Building Capacity, Storey Gallery, Lancaster; Cube Retrospective 1998–2004, Cube, Manchester 2004 Open Secret, Imperial War Museum, London 2003 Turpentine, Studio Voltaire, London 2002 British School at Rome 2001 Jerwood Drawing Prize, Prince of Wales Trust, London 2000 Versailles,Trinity Gardens, London; Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow 1998 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1997 Norddeutsche Landesbank, International Hanover Fair, Hanover; Blueprint, Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow 1994 New Voices, Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona and tour to Bilbao and Madrid 1993 New Voices: New Works for the British Council Collection, Centre de Conferences Albert Borschette, Brussels and tour; East, Norwich Art Gallery, Norfolk Institute of Art and Design; Multum in Parvo, Wingfield College, Suffolk; John Moores Liverpool 18, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 1992 Bruise: Painting for the 90’s, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Cornerhouse, Manchester 1992 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1991 Broadgate Art Project, London 1990 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1989 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London Projects and Commissions 2004 Moorfields Eye Hospital, London 2003 360º, Clifford Chance HQ, London 1999 Moon, Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes 1998 Little Japanese Paintings, Contemporary Art Society, The Ark, London 1997 Shell Research and Technology Centre, Chester 1996 9–15 Bellgrove Street, Glasgow 1995 Speech, Language and Hearing Centre, Christopher Place, London 1994 Peckham Square, London 1991 Pool Painting, Burrell’s Wharf, London 1989 Lintel and Upright, Newport, Rhode Island Awards 2005 Artist in Residence, ArtSway, New Forest, Hampshire 2003 Arts and Humanities Research Board; Delmas Foundation, New York 2002 Rome Scholarship in the Fine Arts 1999 Abbey Council, London 1997 RSA Art for Architecture, London 1995 RSA Art for Architecture, London 1991 Pollock–Krasner Foundation, New York 1988 Greater London Arts Association Collections Arthur Andersen, London; Arts Council of England; The British Council; Deutsche Bank AG, London; Government Art Collection, London; Imperial War Museum, London; Seagrams, London




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Bibliography
2005 World in a Chamber, [exhibition guide], text by Philip Hoare, Said Business School, University of Oxford; Looking at Plants and Places, Alison Turnbull, Botanic Garden News,Oxford, Spring; The Eden Project, Philip Hoare, The Guardian, 16 April; A Different Kind of Eden, Philip Hoare, Botanic Garden News, Oxford, Summer 2004 Schnipsel, Alison Turnbull, Soda, Zurich, November 2003 Just the Tonic, Adrian Forty, Building Design, London, 25 April; Alison Turnbull, Matt’s Gallery, Martin Herbert, Time Out, London, 30 April; Alison Turnbull: Hospital, Jane Neal, Contemporary, June 2001 Kataryna Kozyra, Alison Turnbull, Robert Clark, The Guardian, London, 3 February; A Life in Architecture, Andrew Mead, Architects Journal, October; Alison Turnbull, Emma Safe, Art Press, Paris, April 2000 Alison Turnbull, Layla Curtis, Richard Wright, Paul Usherwood, Art Monthly, September; The Big Show, John Russell-Taylor, The Times, London, 9 September; Pretexts for Painting, Andrew Cross, Architects Journal, September; Best Exhibitions Nationwide, Amber Cowan, The Times, 30 September; Alison Turnbull, Mobile Home, Martin Herbert, Time Out, 25 October; Castles in the Air, Hugh Pearman, Blueprint, London November 1999 Art at Milton Keynes, Hugh Stoddart, Public Art Journal, London, March; Reading a Mysterious Scientific Drawing, Kyoichi Tsuzuki, an an, Tokyo, March 1997 Alison Turnbull at Gallery A, Mel Gooding, London; Alison Turnbull, Sue Hubbard, Time Out, London, 29 October 1996 9-15 Bellgrove Street, Visual Arts Projects, Glasgow (with contributions from Lucy Byatt, Gerry Grams, Rob Joiner, Julia Radcliffe and Dejan Sudjic); Celebration of City Spaces, Keith Bruce, The Glasgow Herald, 7 September; Where Things Meet…light, colour, corner, edge, Alison Turnbull, Architects Journal, London, October 1995 New Voices ­ works for a complex age, [exhibition catalogue] text by Adrian Searle, The British Council, London; Glass Rooms, RIBA Journal, London, November 1993 East, [exhibition catalogue], Norwich Gallery; Pleasant Surprises off the Beaten Track, Tim Hilton, The Independent on Sunday, London, 18 July; East the artists west the public, John McEwan, The Sunday Telegraph, London, 8 August; East, Paul Usherwood, Art Monthly, London, September 1992 Bruise: Paintings for the 90’s Angela Kingston, Ikon Gallery catalogue, Birmingham; Bruise, Robert Graham, The Guardian, Manchester edition, 8 July; Bruise, Mark Sladen, Frieze, London, September/October; New Voices ­ New Works for the British Council Collection, [exhibition catalogue], text by Gill Hedley, The British Council, London 1990 Alison Turnbull, Sarah Kent, Time Out, London, 9 May; Alison Turnbull’s Paintings, William Feaver, The Observer, London, 13 May 1989 Alison Turnbull, Tim Hilton, The Guardian, London, 15 March; Alison Turnbull, Robert Macdonald, Time Out, London 29 March Whitechapel Open, William Feaver, The Observer, London, 8 October Publications 2005 The Family Beds, pub. Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and The University of Oxford Botanic Garden 2002 Spring Snow ­ A Translation, Alison Turnbull, pub. Book Works, London.


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