Inverse Colour Paintings: Open talk Trevor Burgess

Image preview

2pm Wednesday 15th December 2021


Trevor Burgess is an artist and curator based in London. He initially studied literature, going on to train and work as Assistant Curator at the Norwich Gallery. Following an MA European Fine Art at Winchester School of Art he settled in London in 1999. As artist-curator, he curates and collaborates with other artists on exhibitions exploring the practice and social context of painting. These have included “In The City”, an exhibition of painters whose work reflects aspects of contemporary cities internationally, “This Instead of That” (co-curated with Alexandra Baraitser) which explored dialogues between artists, and the current touring exhibition “Where We Live”, which will be showing at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield from January to June 2022. He has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, including solo exhibitions at galleries in Spain, Switzerland and the UK. In 2011 he won the London and South East Regional Painting Prize at the Discerning Eye exhibition.

He will discuss new work and his inverse Colour Paintings.

About the work

“A thing is not seen because it is visible. On the contrary it is visible because it is seen” Plato.

In my paintings, I am interested in social uses of urban space. All my painting starts from my daily visual experience. I take an eye-level view of the city, giving attention to under-regarded and over-looked aspects of street life. Painting has an important role in making things visible.

Yet there is always a gap in painting between what is depicted and how it’s depicted. That gap fascinates me. In a recent series of paintings I have been exploiting this gap by using inverted colour – the opposite of the colours we see. This began as a personal and political reaction to the Brexit crisis, and then continued during lockdown. Experiencing the anxieties of the pandemic, I felt that I could no longer paint my familiar subjects celebrating street life. I turned to making re-mixes of my previous paintings in inverse colours. This has also led me to re-consider the tradition and role of “history painting”, and question whether and how the personal and private dialogue through which painting engages with a viewer and the qualities inherent in the visual language, medium and practice of painting can be deployed effectively in a public, politically and socially engaged context.

E: W: