'Virus Maximiser', Michael Stubbs

A mixture of layers of black, white, green shapes including a rolling dice and a skull

Tinted floor varnish, eggshell and gloss paint on MDF,
183 x 244.5 cm, 2008

Artist's statement

Michael Stubbs's paintings use the by-now venerable abstract painting technique of pouring to risk a certain loss of control, and yet by using blown-up stencils to interrupt these random flows with fragments of words, images, or hand-me-down decorative motifs, he constantly keeps a discursive, referential function in play. Or maybe it should be put the other way round: Stubbs's imagery seems constantly on the verge of converging into some form of cultural commentary, but the fundamental abstractness and even irrationality of his overlapping, poured shapes seems calculated to prevent that - to insist on the painting as an agreement to disagree between wayward materials and stubborn intentionality. As Paul Morrison wrote (in 'Contemporary Visual Arts') of an earlier phase of Stubbs's work, "the paintings operate as perceptual palimpsests in which the artist overwrites modernist tropes with playful irreverence."
(Text by Barry Schawbsky)


Michael Stubbs was born in West Sussex in 1961. He studied at Bath Academy of Art 1984-87 and Goldsmiths College London 1988-90 and 1999-2003. His group exhibitions include 'Painting
as a Foreign Language' Centro Britanico Barzsiliero São Paulo 2002, 'New Abstract Painting: Painting Abstract Now' Museum Morsbroich Leverkusen Germany 2003 and 'Hypersurface Plus' OVADA Oxford 2008. He was a finalist in the 'Celeste Art Prize' The Well Truman Brewery London 2006 and was included in 'John Moores 24' 2006. His eponymous solo exhibitions include those at Marella Contemporary Art Milan 2005, Hollenbach Gallery Stuttgart 2006 and Baro Cruz Gallery São Paulo Brazil 2007.

Michael Stubbs website