Callery’s work explores the margins of what can be understood as painting, in order to define what painting can do today…


Listen to the hum


Simon Callery (b.1960) London, is an award-winning British painter and sculptor, graduated from Cardiff College of Art in 1983; he lives and works in London, UK.

Callery’s work explores the margins of what can be understood as painting, in order to define what painting can do today. He’s constantly searching for new forms and new functions for painting. Throughout his career Callery has worked with archeologists. The visceral and temporal qualities of the excavation sites have led him to construct his paintings as physical encounters. The paintings have roots in the British landscape tradition, but the intention of the work has been shifted to provoke a broad sensory experience rather than a visual depiction. Just as the land reveals life beyond its surface contours, these paintings expose their interior spaces and void. For Callery, as important an element as any flat front plane. They encourage a viewer to rotate around the work introducing movement into the equation and undermining the convention of the static single viewing point. Simon Callery harnesses the convention of landscape painting to invert our image-saturated culture back to an awareness of physical matter in art form.

Callery has written the word ‘invert’ on his studio wall. He says it reminds him as he works “that I must invert and subvert the conventions of painting to keep it alive”. He continues “We live in an emphatically image-based culture where the stress on the visual inevitably suppresses the other senses. It is hunch that painting – a medium so implicated in the development of image – is the medium best placed to critique the way we use image in contemporary life. I am working to give painting its body back – and as a consequence, a better awareness of our own.”

Simon Callery has exhibited in the UK and internationally since the mid 1990’s. Early shows include YOUNG BRITISH ARTISTS III, Saatchi Gallery, SENSATION, Royal Academy of Arts, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and Brooklyn Museum, New York, ABOUT VISION, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, PAPER ASSETS, British Museum and ART NOW 19, Tate Britain. Recent solo shows 2015 – 2017 include; OPEN BODY. Annex14. Zurich. PIT & VOID SEQUENCE. Geukens & De Vil. Knokke, Belgium. FLAT PAINTINGS, Fold Gallery, London.

Recent two-person and group shows 2017 - 2019; YELLOW. Simon Callery & Torgny Wilcke. Officinet. Copenhagen. RHYCH. Simon Callery & Stefan Gant in collaboration with the School of Archaeology. University of Oxford. Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw. North Wales. HORTUS CONCLUSUS. Fondazione 107. Turin. DECEMBER MOSTRA. British School at Rome. DE FILS OU DES FIBRES. Abbaye Saint André. CAC. Meymac. France. TEXTILE ABSTRACTION. Casas Riegner. Bogota. Colombia. BANG, CALLERY, KETTER. Galeri Kant. Copenhagen. PERPETUAL CONSTRUCTION. Fondation Cab. Brussels.


selected works