IAN STEPHENSON

Biography

(1934-2000, Browney, England)
English Painter

“I am an English painter and do not want to be anything else. I love the tradition of an albion art and really my paintings have more to do with Constable’s snow than Tobey’s white writing. I have always known how I was to make pictures and speculations about the nature of painting stem from the style. The practice of painting is a defined discipline and desirably difficult.

Annealing and concealing colour. All of painting is camouflage, not least of all by means of subject matter whatever the sentiment. It is within the freaked skin of camouflage that the art resides. To be blessed with the contradictory nature of things. If there is no alternative to the way things are, then the picture must be more and more of what it is. Neural and neutral, the greyness scintillates. Overlapping and obliterated. Oblivion. Such is the practice of palimpsestial painting. Alas, it is as dilemmic as remembering to forget.

Past Exhibitions
2011 One Man show: Ian Stephenson at Economy, Studio 10, London Fields, London, UK
2010 The Independent Eye: Contemporary British Art from the Collection of Samuel and  Gabrielle Lurie, Yale Center for British Art, Newhaven, Connecticut, USA
2009 One Man Show: Be Quiet Now, Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, UK
2008 A(r)t Home: Duddo, Northumberland, UK
2007 Metavisual Tachiste Abstract: Painting in England Today 1957, a Fiftieth Anniversary, The Redfern Gallery, UK
2006 And our eyes scan Time, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK and touring to BALTIC, Gateshead, UK
2005 British Art and the 60s from Tate Britain, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
2005 One man show: Ian Stephenson, Roche Court, Salisbury, UK
2004 Art and the Sixties: This Was Tomorrow, Tate Britain, London, UK
2003 Formal Situation Abstraction in Britain 1960- 1970, Tate, Liverpool, UK
1996 Exhibited a set of watercolours Mortlake for six months at the Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate the re- opening of the Raphael Cartoons by the Queen
1992-3 Ready Steady Go, London and Arts Council Tour, UK
1985 Peintiadau Prydeinig1946-72, Penarth, UK
1983 Produced a triple edition of big screenprints Ceolfrith Suite to aid the Sunderland Arts Centre with Fellowships
1982 La Couleur en la Peinture Britannique, Luxembourg and Bucharest, Romania
1982 Arteder Muestra Internacional, Bilbao,Spain
1982 A Taste of British Art Today, Brussels, Belgium
1981 Created a large edition of uniquely collaged silkscreen prints Phoenix to raise funds for the Contemporary Art Society.
1980-81 Colour in British Painting, Hong Kong, China
1980 British Art1940-80, London, UK
1980 Hayward Annual 1980, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
1980 Art Anglais D’ Aujourd’hui, Geneva, Switzerland
1979 The Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK
1979 Tate ’79Exhibition, Tate, London, UK
1978-79 Abstract Paintings from the United Kingdom, British Embassy, Washington, USA
1978-79 Ian Stephenson: Ionic Variation Paintings on Paper1961-1977, City Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham and Cardiff, UK
1977-8 Series, Tate, London, UK
1977 Contemporary Art Society Jubilee Exhibition: Works on Paper, Royal Academy Diploma Galleries, London, UK
1977 British Painting1952-1977, Royal Academy, London.
1977 Englische Kunst der Gegenwart, Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz.
1977 British Artists of the Sixties, Tate, London.
1977 Ian Stephenson: Paintings1955-66 and1966-77, Hayward Gallery, London, and Arts Council Tour, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and Turnpike Gallery, Leigh on Sea, UK
1976 Arte Inglese Oggi1960-76, Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy
1975 One Man Show: Ionic Variation Watercolours, Hester van Royen Gallery, London, UK
1975 Recent Acquisitions: Gallery17, Tate, London, UK
1974 Art as Thought Process, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK
1974 British Painting 74, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
1973-75 Drawing towards Painting 2, Arts Council Tour, UK
1973 Europalia: Recente Britse Tekenkunst, Koninklijk Museum, Antwerp, Netherlands
1973 Elf Englische Zeichner, British Council Tour, Baden Baden and Bremen, Germany
1973 La Peinture Anglaise Aujourd’hui, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
1973 Process Markmaking Structure Space Scale in British Abstraction, Tate, London, UK
1970 Arts Council Paintings 68-70, Arts Council Tour, UK
1970 Large Paintings, Hayward Gallery, London and Arts Council Tour, UK
1970 One Man Show: Retrospective Exhibition, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle Upon-Tyne, UK
1969 Six at the Hayward, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
1968 Junge Generation Grossbritannien, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany
1967-75 Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Collection of Recent British Painting, Tate, London and International tour
1967-68 Drawing towards Painting, Arts Council Tour, UK
1967 5e Biennale des Jeunes Artistes, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
1967 18e Salon de Jeune Peinture, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
1966 Work selected by Michelangelo Antonioni to be included in his seminal film Blow-Up, after he had recognised during a studio visit the effects of changing focus and scale.
1965 New Painting 61-64, Arts Council Tour, Europe.
1964/5 Premio Marzotto Mostra di Pittura Contemporanea, Club Unione, Valdagno and toured Europe.
1963 British Painting in the Sixties, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK
1963 Recent Trends in Painting, Arts Council Tour, London, UK
1962 The Arts Council as Patron, Arts Council Gallery, London, UK
1962 Participated in a BBC Michael Gill film, Cubism and After, in London, UK
1961/69 Exhibited at the New Art Centre in London throughout the sixties, UK
1961 4th Six Young Painters, Arts Council Tour, UK
1959 Nine Young Contemporaries, Gimpel Fils Gallery, London, UK
1958 One Man Show, New Vision Centre, London, UK
1958 Royal Watercolourists Society Galleries, London, UK
1958 John Moores Exhibition Selection, UK
1957 Metavisual Tachiste and Abstract Painting in England Today, Redfern Gallery, London, UK

Public Collections
Arts Council of Great Britain, UK
Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast, UK
BBC online collection ‘Your Paintings’
Birmingham City Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK
Bristol City Art Gallery, Bristol, UK
British Council, London, UK
Contemporary Art Society, London, UK
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK
Government Art Collection, London, UK
Granada Television Company, Manchester, UK
Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, UK
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK
Northern Arts Association, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Nuffield Foundation, London, UK
Premio Marzotto, Rome, Italy
Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
Swedish Lloyd Shipping Lines, London, UK
Tate, London, UK
Union Bank of Switzerland, London, UK
Victoria Art Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, UK

Awards
1986 Elected a full Royal Academician, London, UK
1975 Elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
1966 Awarded First Prize in the Northern Painters Exhibition at Newcastle, UK
1964 Awarded an International Marzotto Selection Prize in Italy
1960 Awarded a Gulbenkian Foundation Painting Purchase
1957 Awarded a Junior Section Prize at the first John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, UK
1956 Awarded a Hatton Scholarship

Education
1999 Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the University of Durham, UK
1974 MA at Chelsea School of Art, London, UK
1945/56 Studied Fine Art under Professor Lawrence Gowing, King’s College, in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

 

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