LAUNCHED 1 JUNE 2009.
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Terry Atkinson was born in Thurnscoe, Yorkshire in 1939. From 1959 to 1964, he studied at the Barnsley Art School and then completed a degree at the Slade School of Art. He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1985, for his works shown in London and Venice, as well as his contributions as a writer and teacher.
Over the past 40 years, Atkinson has played a significant role in the direction of international contemporary art through his practice and teaching. In 1968, he was one of the founder members of the highly influential collaborative art group Art & Language, which was centred on Coventry School of Art where Atkinson taught between 1966 and 1973.
Atkinson’s paintings use commonplace visual forms such as snapshots, cartoons, postcards and sketches. These are often accompanied by texts which give clues as to his intended meanings, but also highlight the ways in which images are misinterpreted. Paintings and drawings come out of his long-standing interest in politics, philosophy and the relationship between art theory and practice. He has made significant artwork on the Irish troubles in the North, in the series the ‘Irish Works’, drawing on a multitude of references from Goya to art-school drawing, while imbued with a sense of tragic irony.
He has had major solo shows at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1983), Gimpel Fils (1985-91) and Stampa Gallery in Basel. He has also exhibited in group shows at Documenta 5 (1972), Museum of Modern Art in New York (1970), Venice Biennale (1984) and Irish Museum of Modern Art (1991).
For FLOOD Terry Atkinson presents ‘Excerpt’, a concise and engaging text looking at different models of the artist, questioning perceptions of the artist’s sensibility as mystical or mysterious. Continuing long explored investigations for Atkinson, he continues to question the possibility of art being other than purely visual.