Diverse in palette and composition, Neal Tait’s paintings and drawings explore tensions between the figurative and the abstract, the beautiful and the grotesque, the logical and the absurd. Frequently based on found materials and media such as photographs, magazines and newspapers, his works provide glimpses into a dreamlike parallel universe, one that evokes the rhetorical logic of fairy tales or the absurdist humor of Surrealism. While traces of the figurative can be found in many of the artist’s works, Tait’s compositions do not follow an obvious storyline nor adhere to logical interpretation. Rather, like the memory of a dream, they exist on the outskirts of conscious understanding, occupying the space somewhere between physical reality and the subconscious.
Born in 1965 in Edinburgh, Tait lives and works in London. He received a BFA from London’s Chelsea School of Art in 1991, and an MFA from the Royal College of Art in 1993. In 2001, he participated in an artist residency at the British School at Rome.
In 2006, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Deurle, Belgium presented an important solo exhibition of Tait’s paintings entitled, Dark Mutter. His work has also been shown in numerous group exhibitions including Watercolour at Tate Britain in London (2011), A Terrible Beauty is Born, 11th Lyon Biennale in France (2011), Hoch Hinaus at Kunstmuseum Thun in Switzerland (2005), Direct Painting at Kunsthalle Mannheim in Germany (2004), and Painting on the Move at Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland (2001), among others.