barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

John Monks

The Process of Painting

One of the most important painters working in Britain today, London-based John Monks is as much influenced by historical art and the interiors of galleries and historic buildings as he is by the work of contemporary artists.

This set of captivating paintings – large canvases that include a triptych specially created for this exhibition – features interiors and everyday objects, depicted in such a way that they challenge the viewer to look anew at the familiar and the commonplace. Through a range of painterly processes – pouring the paint, glazing the surface in layers and scraping with a palette knife – Monks weaves and layers surfaces to imbue his subjects with a built-in history, implying atmosphere, life and change in seemingly inanimate and immutable objects and scenes.

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Above Image: John Monks, The Yellow Chair, 2013 (detail). Oil on canvas. © John Monks