PAINT Symposium 

Saturday 27 July,  10am – 5pm
£15 for the day, students have free entry  


A symposium on the subject of painting today to be held at Messums West on 27 July 2024 with leading artists, academics, curators and art historians exploring contemporary painting dialogues including concepts of abstraction and discussing the current position of abstract painting. The day will be divided into two parts, the first of which will consider concepts of abstraction and the role of abstract painting and a second session focusing on figuration. The event is in honour of the artist and art historian, John Golding, whose writing and practice represent a framework for analysing and discussing the abstract language. Golding’s seminal book Paths to the Absolute (2000) continues to inform thinking on abstract art today.
The morning session forms part of our John Golding Lecture Series launched in conjunction with MESSUMS ORG representation of his estate and dedicated to understanding and updating consideration of abstraction in painting. We gather minds together to share thoughts on contemporary practice and evaluate our understandings of the past. Speakers will consider the inspiration and innovation of abstraction internationally with particular focus on Mexico, America and Australia.
The afternoon session forms part of our representational painting review series. Academics, established artists, and the next wave of young painters choosing representational painting as their language examine and share insights into current preferences and practices to understand its vitality and direction. This session will include guest speakers and a panel discussion to debate ideas.
The day will culminate with our guest keynote speaker discussing art and the environment, in line with our core ethos.



10:00: Arrival and coffee

Morning Session: ABSTRACTION: A Universal Language?

10:30: Welcome: Johnny Messum
10:40: Joanna Capon (Focus on Ann Thomson, Australia)
11:00: David Anfam on Abstract Expressionism (Focus on abstraction in America)
11:20: Dawn Ades on John Golding / History of painting in Mexico (Focus on abstraction in Mexico) 11:40: BREAK
12:00: Panel discussion: State of Abstraction today
12:30: Audience Q&A

13:00 – 14:00: LUNCH

Afternoon session: FIGURATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT: The Modern Landscape

14:00: Colin Rhodes on Modern and Contemporary Art
14:20: Saied Dai on Observation
14:40: Olly Williamson
15:00: Joana Galego
15:20: BREAK
15:40: Jack McGarrity
16:00: Francesco Poiana
16:20: Panel discussion
16:40: Audience Q&A
17:00: Art and the environment
17:30: Close

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