b. 1954, Manchester.
Paul Winstanley is a painter who uses the ostensibly traditional genres of Landscape / Interior / Still Life / Figure / to create works of conceptual rigour that present the relationship of the viewer to the painting as central to the content of the work. At once methodical and melancholic his painterly depictions of landscapes, walkways, veiled windows, TV Lounges, art school studios and individuals distracted in contemplation are rendered in an exacting and subtle palette. Training initially as an abstract and minimalist painter Winstanley reversed the usual trend of early 20th century artists by moving back towards a new, more self aware representational work. His paintings however do retain much of the aesthetic qualities of the earlier abstraction in their pictorial organisation and minimalist feel. His paintings draw as much from historical northern European artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, Vermeer and Vilhelm Hammershoi as contemporary, more conceptual practitioners such as Richard Hamilton. The images Winstanley creates contain a sense of imposed order as well as an atmosphere of abandonment or expectation and of time inexorably passing.
Winstanley has been exhibiting since the late 1970s and over the past two decades he has had regular solo exhibitions in London, Paris, Munich and New York. His first major retrospective was held at the Auckland Art Space in New Zealand in 2008 was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. Other solo shows include Annexe, Tate Britain (1998) and Driven Landscapes, Camden Arts Centre, London (1993). Recent group shows include Aesthetic Harmonies, Colby College, Maine (2015); Lifelike, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, travelling to New Orleans Museum of Art (both 2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and The Blankton Museum of Art, Austin (both 2012); UNSCHARF: Nach Gerhard Richter, Kunsthalle Hamburg (2011); Self as Selves, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2009), Inside Architecture, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2008) and 8 Visions, One Dream, Today Art Museum, Beijing (2008).
Winstanley's work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the collections of the Tate Gallery, the British Council, the European Parliament, the New York City Public Library and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.