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Department of Art

John Chilver

Position held:
Lecturer in Fine Art

+44 (0)20 7717 2217

j.chilver (

The pre-occupations of my artwork and writing coalesce around problems of agency. These direct me first to philosophies of the event and questions of how the new appears at all; and second, to a consideration of specific contemporary contingencies: [1] the commodification of dissent/critique; [2] the ontological violence of dis-incarnation instituted by networks; [3] the composing of space as placelessness. Given [1], any artwork of critical ambition is liable to be short-circuited. Hence received understandings of the force of critique need re-thinking. My artwork operates mostly as para-painting. In various guises, it entertains an obsession with line and its modalities: [1] as corridor, path, thread, vector; [2] as bar, limb, stump; [3] as edge; [4] as axis; [5] as cut. These then enable the works to generate semantic modalities such as connectedness/ separateness, movement/ simultaneity, containment/ non-containment, which in turn offer a means of addressing contingencies [2] and [3].

Presentations and exhibitions

Selected solo exhibitions

Keith Talent Gallery, London

Casey Kaplan, New York
Il Capricorno, Venice
Asprey Jacques, London
Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne
Morrison Judd, London

Use & Mention, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich,   
Dawnbreakers, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton
Standard Candles, Vulpes Vulpes, London
Terminator, Camberwell Space, London
Now: Art of the 21st Century, Phillips de Pury, London

Verdunklung/Darkening, Kunstlerhaus, Stuttgart
Invisible Beauty, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin
Tonight, Studio Voltaire, London
Godzilla, Trailer, London
Some Things We Like, Asprey Jacques, London
Sammeln Müssen, Halle für Kunst, Luneburg
Landscape, The Saatchi Gallery, London
Per Saldo, Noordbrabants Museum, s-Hertogenbosch
Kerstin Kartscher & John Chilver,
Nomadenoase, Golden Pudels Club, Hamburg
Painting as a Foreign Language,
Centro Britannico Brasileiro, Sao Paulo
Tattoo Show, Modern Art, London
The Wedding Show, Casey Kaplan, New York
For Once Then Something, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
00 - Drawings 2000, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Paintings, Sies and Höke, Düsseldorf
Wooden Heart, AVCO, London
blackandwhite.color.3D, Gio Marconi, Milan
Zauberhaft, Waldschlösschen, Dresden
A Mountain and A Valley, Cubbit, London
Surfacing, ICA, London

Selected publications

Selected texts

'Felix Vallotton: Genres and Shallow Waters'
Turps Banana, Issue 7, October 2009,
[ISSN 1749-3994] p.28-35.

'Contingency & the Paradox of Composition: Florian Slotawa'
in Art Papers Sept/Oct 2008 Vol.32/No.5
[ISSN 1524-9581/Publication No.017-703] p.32-37.

'Painting and its Strata: sub, super, etc.' catalogue essay for the
exhibition Superstratum, Koraalberg Gallery, Antwerp, Oct-Dec 2008,
[ISBN 978-9-07987-400-2] p. 3-5.

'On Disappearance & Display', in The Worst & The Best: Yearbook 2007/2008, KHIO/National Academy of Fine Arts Oslo, p. 21-23, & presented at the symposium ‘Collector Studies?’, KHIO, Oslo, March 22-23, 2007, with Isabelle Graw, Eberhard Haverkost, Monika Baer, Gunter Reski

'Morandi with Heidegger', in 'Nonsite to Celebration Park: Essays on Art & the Politics of Space', ed. E. Whittaker & A. Landrum, Bath, Bath Spa University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-905200-72-6, p 85 - 100
& presented at the ‘Critical Topology of Landscape’ conference, Bath Spa University, April 20th 2007, with Peter Osborne, Andrea Phillips, Edgar Schmitz, Shahin Affrassiabi

'Displacements of Shadow', Art Papers, January/February 2007, Vol.31 #1, ISSN 1524–9581, Publication number 017–703, p. 36 - 41

'Group and Gang: The Absent Collective', Afterall archive from autumn 2006:

'Painting as a Technology', talk presented at the symposium ‘Painting, Specifically’,
Serpentine Gallery, London, November 2004, with Suhail Malik, Jane Harris, Mike Stubbs, Nigel Cooke, Glenn Brown

'Rene Daniëls: With Respect to Disrespect', Afterall 10, October 2004, ISSN 1465-4253, p. 46-53

'Vertical Acceleration', Starship 6, Berlin, Spring 2004

'James Rosenquist', Untitled, Number 32, Summer 2004, p.70

'On DJ Simpson', a dialogue with Dave Beech, Beck's Futures 2 catalogue, ICA, London, 2001, ISBN 1900300311

Content last modified: 07 Feb 2011

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