Robert Holyhead

Twenty Fifth Anniversary Awards - Shortlisted 2018

During his painting career Robert Holyhead has been ‘unswervingly committed to the language and histories of abstraction’. He tends to produce series of paintings that operate as ensembles, providing the consideration for internal painterly relations. He thereby creates dialogical space between works and the placement within, or relationship to, the architectonics of the gallery space. Glitches are an important part of his practice, something he has developed into his process from a previously held, perfectionist concern with executing paintings in a particular way.

Holyhead attempts to create an uncanniness in his work, using forms that may have been seen somewhere but still have a strong relationship to his abstract vocabulary. He picks up on things that are peculiar, things existing awkwardly in the world that are already abstract, something that is mirrored by the areas on his canvasses which are left paint free, creating shapes and patterns in negative space.

Selected exhibitions include Open Ground (Parts Project, Holland, 2016), a retrospective of his paintings and drawings from the past decade; and The Space Between at Tate Britain where several of his pieces belong to the gallery collection.

Robert was nominated by Susanna Heron.