'Untitled', Theo Cuff

abstract painting of a person with a blanked-out face

2008, Oil on canvas, 39.5 x 48.5 cm

Artist's statement

A non-ironic union of tropes, a slip that occurs between the static image and abstract gesture is increasingly fascinating me. I think of my work as a deferral that remnants or residue exist beneath. These can then pass through or be withheld by the surface, so that recognition or familiarity permeates a series of paintings that becomes both intimate and ubiquitous.

When I'm building the surface of a painting it usually requires interplay between subtlety and a tactile physicality, or assertion. At the beginning there's apprehension or ambivalence, the need to get rid of the initial content. Simplicity or the economy of a composition allows me to use the paint to affirm recognition or sometimes concealment. This will determine a finished work.


Theo Cuff was born in Frimley, Surrey in 1984. He studied at Basingstoke College of Technology 2001-02, and the
University of the West of England 2003- 06 and 2006-09 (MA). Gained MAstars award AXIS website 2009. Group exhibitions include '11a' Bath Fringe 2007, ' Group of 13' Basement Studio Bristol 2007, 'The Wrong Place' The Old Pro Cathedral Bristol 2008, 'Paint.Paint' Room 212 Bristol 2008, 'Et in Arcadia Ego' The
Crypt St Paul's Church Bristol 2009, 'Le Salon' The New Gallery Bower Ashton Bristol, 'The Show 2009: UWE Fine Art
Graduates' exhibitions Spike Island Bristol 2009 and Spike Island Open Studios 2010.

Artist profile page on Axis website