Emerging from the radical transformations of the British art scene over the last two decades is a pool of artists working in the field of abstract art. As a loose group of well-established innovators these artists have turned the concepts of abstraction upside down, opening up complex new meanings which question painting practice. The values of abstraction in Britain today are a far cry from the rigours of Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism, due to one of the most diversified generations ever.
Michael Stubbs is one of the most distinguished of these protagonists. He has taken a fresh look at what constitutes abstraction by mixing and grinding decorators materials with graphic symbols. His work can be compared to that of a whole generation of painters from Leipzig to New York. Responding to the concerns of his generation, Stubbs synthesises the ideas of trash and high art, decoration and humour in a playfully irreverent way.
Held together in a precarious balancing act, his paintings are constructed by combining poured, abstract configurations of transparent varnishes and opaque household paints with embedded graphic stencils. These technical resources are at the service of a razor sharp clarity and viscous liquidity. Stubbs juxtaposes Baroque elaboration with Morris Louis style poured veils. What becomes visible between the flattened layers are strange echoes and references to art history and popular culture, unfolding into a heady mix of the serious and the sensual.