Riverside House Artist Studio Group

Studio space

My approach to art making…

Starting out on a new painting idea begins with a ritually imposed tactic: the intent to avoid pictorial narrative, habitual semiotics and populist kitsch, sufficiently so to allow the fluidity of figure and ground to be convincingly stilled. The intrigue for me is all about the act of making and the materiality of paint, favoured for its capacity to be mutable, malleable and eventually yielding. Resolving a work is always about being settled with what the work is saying or doing when subject and object coalesce.

Figuring theory occupies a de facto role as studio furniture. My studio work in painting is entangled with the legacy of de Stijl through its affirmation of spatial concerns for the modernist grid and thereby its resistance to narrative. I am heartened to think the act of painting in 2019 confers usefulness through its resistance to being numbed by historicism.


Curriculum Vitae:

Phil Gatenby (b.1950)

Since retiring from my role as Head of Fine Art in the School of Arts & Media at Teesside University my primary interest remains the singular discipline of painting. With due consideration of the space permitted or denied to sustain its legitimacy I give attention to its advocacy and progression, particularly so in a post 1989 milieu.

Artist Studio Groups:

2017-     Riverside House Studios, Navigator North & East Street Arts, Middlesbrough

2016-17 Keld House Studios, Navigator North & ESA,  Stockton on Tees

2014-15 Platform Arts Studios, Lee House, Peterlee


Recent Exhibition Work:

2018 Untitled: Stockton Contemporary, The Auxiliary Project Space, Stockton on Tees

2018 Parallel Tracking: the curious case of abstraction. Platform-A Gallery, Middlesbrough

2017 Conversations in Painting: ‘if it fits in the Fiesta you’re in…’. Darlington

2017 Crossing Borders. Felix the Gallery, Middlesbrough Art Weekender (MAW), Teesside

2016 Artist in Residence Exhibition. Das Spectrum, Utrecht

2015 Fast Forward, Rewind and Walk On… Studio Exhibition, Platform Arts, Peterlee


Selected Research Visits:

2019 Headlands, Elizabeth Magill: New Art Gallery, Walsall

2018 The Nonument – Affinity and Allusion: Klaus Weber, Collective, Edinburgh

2018 At The Gates and Tremble, Tremble: Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

2018 Summer Jam, a painting show: W139 Gallery, Amsterdam

2017 The Discovery of Mondriaan: Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag

2017 Art in a Time of Interregnum: BAK Summer School, Utrecht

2017 Philip Guston and the Poets: Gallerie dell Accademia, Venice

2017 Viva Arte Viva: 57th Venice Biennale

2016 Contemporary British Painting: Huddersfield Art Gallery

2016 Tim Breukers & Andreas Arndt: De Pont Museum, Tilberg

2016 The Racquet Club: Caroline Walker, Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam

2016 British Art Show 8: Inverleith House, & Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

2015 Willful Blindness: W139 Gallery, Amsterdam

2015 Painting in Time Symposium: The Tetley, Hunslett Road, Leeds

2015 Teaching Painting, A Conference: Whitworth Gallery, Manchester

2015 John Chamberlain: Inverleith House, Edinburgh

2015 All the World’s Futures: 56th Venice Biennale

2015 Raoul de Keyser: Inverleith House, Edinburgh

2015 Real Painting: Castlefield Gallery, Manchester