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Alison Turnbull: If Mimicry Minded 21 April–29 April 2018 Observatory 15 September–31 October 2010 Hospital 9 April–1 June 2003 | Publications | Editions | Artist’s Website



Alison Turnbull| Observatory, 2010
Alison Turnbull Observatory
Alison Turnbull, Sea the Stars , oil on canvas, 2010 (installation view at private view)
Alison Turnbull Observatory
Alison Turnbull, Red Field, oil, enamel and silverpoint on canvas, 2010
Alison Turnbull Observatory
Alison Turnbull, Moon-viewing Platform, oil and acrylic on canvas, 2010

Press Information
Observatory is Alison Turnbull's second exhibition at Matt’s Gallery and marks a new direction in her work. She has created a number of related paintings, originally inspired by plans of Thomas Jefferson’s observatory.

Collector, researcher and observer, Turnbull works with nature, but without literal illustration. Using specialist star charts as the genesis of her new work she shows the margins and transitional spaces of a human world. Plans and charts are already at one remove from their original source and Turnbull further distances her work from the subject through the act of painting. In this way new versions emerge that could not be depicted through media such as photography. By reconsidering existing structures she questions how we define things visually.

Turnbull’s approach has the quality of quiet and precise engagement. She begins her paintings with a set of internal parameters, or visual references, and as they develop she exerts pressure on these rules and the pictorial starts to take precedence.

Some paintings, such as Moon-viewing Platform, draw directly on the language of chart and plan; others are more abstract, but all are informed by close attention to colour and picture surface. Turnbull’s control of texture and composition emphasizes each work’s distance and depth. The canvas is sanded smooth and Turnbull applies finely detailed layers of painted shapes and dots that vary with subtle changes in the pressure of the brush on the canvas. With considerable skill and sensitivity she adjusts each painting’s structure; areas are built up by thickening the surface while others are pared right down. What emerges is a number of abstracted sites, each one a place where different dialogues might occur.

Turnbull’s drawings, created on pages from her extensive personal collection of exercise books and graph papers, both bought and donated, appear as notations contained by the graphic lines of the paper. The titles refer to the locations where each paper was purchased, conferring a sense of moving through familiar places. The drawings will be shown in an elongated vitrine running across the centre of the gallery space.

A publication to support the exhibition, Observatory, with an essay by Ed Krcma, published by Matt's Gallery, will be available free to visitors.


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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; ArtSway, The New Forest, Hampshire 2003 Hospital, Matt’s Gallery, London 2001 Houses into Flats, Museum of Modern Art Oxford 2000 Houses into Flats, Milton Keynes Gallery and Cube, Manchester; Mobile Home, London 1997 Gallery A, London 1990 Anne Berthoud Gallery, London 1989 Anne Berthoud Gallery, London Group Exhibitions 2010 Re: Public, Chelsea Futurespace, London; On the Edge of the World, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 2009 Pattern Recognition, The City Art Gallery, Leicester; Between the Lines - British Contemporary Drawing, Trinity Fine Art, London 2008 Darwin’s Canopy, Natural History Museum, London 2006 Responding to Rome, Estorick Collection, London; Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London and tour 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 Artist's Books 2006 Black Borders, Piece of Paper Press, London 2005 The Family Beds, University of Oxford 2002 Spring Snow – A Translation, Book Works, London Projects and Commissions 2010 Salon Cabinet Particulier The Russian Club, London 2008-10 Time and Tide DLR Art, Transport for London 2008 Vitis vinifera L. One Vine Street, The Crown Estate, London 2007 E3 4RR Matt’s Gallery Print Portfolio2004 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 2009 Gulbenkian Galápagos Artists Programme 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
Publications 2010 Alison Turnbull, Observatory, text by Ed Krcma, Matt’s Gallery, London 2008 Vitis vinifera L., text by Paul Bonaventura, Matt’s Gallery, London 2005 World in a Chamber, text by Philip Hoare, University of Oxford 2003 Alison Turnbull, Hospital, Matt’s Gallery, London 2000 Alison Turnbull: Houses into Flats, texts by Briony Fer and Dejan Dudjic, Milton Keynes Gallery Selected articles and group exhibition catalogues 2010 On the Edge of the World, [exhibition catalogue] edited by John Daniel and Sarah Gillett ed., The British Council, London 2009 Between the Lines – British Contemporary Drawing, [exhibition catalogue] texts by Jeremy Cooper and Catherine Lampert, Trinity Fine Art, London 2008 Critics Choice, Andrew Mead, Architects’ Journal, London, 11.09.08; Transformations by Sunand Prasad, Black Dog Publishing, London 2007 Moorfields Eye Hospital by Nicola Jackson, Wordsearch, London; Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007, [exhibition catalogue] Wimbledon School of Art, London 2006 Responding to Rome [exhibition catalogue], Estorick Collection, London 2005 The Family Beds by Alison Turnbull, Colin Martin, Hortus no.75; Families Reunited, John Bohannon, Oxford Today, Vol.18, No.1; Moonlandings by Michael Stanley in Re views: Artists and Public Space, Black Dog Publishing, London; Alison Turnbull, Jessica Lack, The Guardian, 24 September; The Artistic Garden, Hampshire Life, October; Alison Turnbull at ArtSway, Andrew Mead, Architects’ Journal, 27.10.05 London; Alison Turnbull, Laura McLean-Ferris, an Magazine, November; Collecting the Whole 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


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