Michael Pemberton

Overview

HUMAN ATMOSPHERE

Solo Exhibition: 20th May - 10th June, 2022
JC Gallery, 14A Hay Hill, Mayfair, London, W1J 8NZ

Michael Pemberton (b. 1974, England) is an emotive abstract painter, focussing on the energy and form of the human subject. Michael was educated at Chelsea School of Fine Art in London and later studied at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. 

 

Michael Pemberton (2021): "My paintings, drawings and sculptures of imaginary human form explore the role of imagination in our inner and outer experiences.

 

In 2018, after fifteen years of painting abstractly I was drawn to work figuratively, feeling compelled to express deeper human feeling in my work. I questioned human likeness, identity and their authenticity. I investigated how our imaginations may invent who we think we are, how we feel and perhaps colour everything we experience. 

 

It was the decision to paint imaginary people that created the space and structure to explore my own depths of feeling, and more broadly how our imaginations behave to shape our reality. 

 

My work practice principally aims to bring about a feeling of life, not in a narrative sense, but locked into the paint itself. As the figures and heads become more fractured and free, opportunities to imbue even more feeling into the paint is more compelling and urgent. 

 

All the works are unplanned and completely imaginary, with no direct source material. I constantly push against illustration and towards accident.

The figures are deliberately often not gender specific nor driven by a particular narrative or story. This ambiguity keeps the works open to interpretation and allows more of what I call life-ness to exist in the work. 

 

As I develop the work practice, I remain committed to depicting imaginary humans that express a feeling of life. In parallel, I continue to explore philosophical questions about how much of life exists solely within."

Works
Biography

In 2006, Pemberton presented The Toxic Series his first solo exhibition in Mayfair, London at The Music Room Gallery. Large abstract works on Plexiglas panels painted with cut brushmarks and fields of colored tape locked in resin were concerned with toxicity and the ironic beauty of pollution. Several years of commissions from the London studio took him deeper into this way of working. In 2010, a relocation to New York shifted explorations into a new abstract language. This resulted in a body of work on canvas and paper; Inner Lands. Concerned with how abstract feelings and ideas translate from inner sensations to outer experiences. After some time between New York, London and Los Angeles, the studio permanently moved to Los Angeles in 2015. An investigation into the thirst for journey in our lives and the impermanence of the destinations, resulted in a series of large-scale paintings; Uninhabitable Land. These works were first shown in a solo exhibition in Los Angeles at Husar Fine Arts in 2015. Following in 2016 a series of large-scale abstract paintings and paper works, Forms of Ambiguity, explored the space between certainties and our fear of ambiguity and the indefinable. These works were shown at three LA galleries all operated by Husar Fine Art  in 2016 & 2017. In 2018 an exhibition was shown at Chali Rosso Gallery in Vancouver of a series of abstract paintings; InexactitudesAdditionally in 2018 a retrospective of abstract works from the previous four years was shown at Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills. After fifteen years of working abstractly Pemberton made a shift into figurative painting in 2018. Deep threads of abstract thinking and exploration were retained but a growing need to work with human feeling was answered. Inner Human (2019-2021) is a series of paintings of non-realist, imaginary human form that call into question what is real and imaginary in our lives and asks if they, in fact, are interchangeable. In December 2020 Michael Pemberton exhibited works from both his series of ‘Forms of Ambiguity’ and ‘Inner Human’ in an exhibition titled ‘The Most Beautiful Night of our Lives’, with  PAG Art in Mexico City. In September 2021 Michael Pemberton exhibited key works from most recent ‘Inner Human’ Series with Galerie 208 in Paris.

 

Michael Pemberton was educated at Chelsea School of Fine Art in London and later studied at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. 

In November 2020 Michael Pemberton was delighted to announce additional representation with PAG Art Advisory based in Mexico City.

In September 2021 Michael Pemberton was delighted to announce additional representation with Galerie 208, Paris.