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paintingresearch at Wimbledon College of Arts is committed to conversation and exposition of painting led research. Events and exhibitions are organised throughout the year, to which the public is welcome. We are a community of researchers whose specialisms are reflected, maintained and diverted through this ongoing dialogue.


Our current thematic and events appear below. Click for more information.

This year’s paintingresearch thematic is:

Painting as Agent

Throughout the year we will be responding to an evocative question found in the sketchbooks of graduating student, Laura Tilottson:

How does my artwork connect to the world?

Through a series of talks, panel discussions and workshops we will suggest various occupations through which painting can act as an interlocutor, asking questions, developing a position and subjecting ideas to its own unique modes of enquiry. In this way, painting acts upon the world, in various guises, with agency, as agent.

An implied brief for each agency will be distributed at the events with references. Examples are:

Painting as witness
Painting as document
Painting as resistance
Painting as social
Painting as portal
Painting as trickster / shit-stirrer

Painting as copyist

In May we will invite students to present back to us some of the agencies your own work is affiliated to.

Through Painting as Agent we will be investigating how painting propels itself into connecting with the world, moving beyond its potential stuckness as a self-reflexive device, within which it can be caught out, talking to its own histories and re-fashioning them ad nauseum.

Painting as Agent is a way of expanding David Joselit’s vision for a painting that is networked. In ‘Painting Beside Itself’, Joselit refers to painting that ‘explicitly visualises’ how it ‘belongs to networks of distribution and exhibition’ (Joselit, 2009, p: 125). In the text, he talks of a ‘synchronic kind of passage which moves out from painting-as-cultural artifact to the social networks surrounding it’, referring to Jutta Koether’s work as an example of this kind of connectivity.

We want to take this a step further and imagine that, rather than be beside only itself, painting is stepping into other terrain, and importing its methodologies, dragging its networks and materiality towards other subjects and contexts. Painting as Agent is behavioural, a form of code, countenance, pose, slippage or masquerade. By adopting guises that allow us to enter other terrain we can import stuff back, altered, into our own.

Painting as agent final poster1 copy.jpg
painting as agent intro poster.jpg
Anj Smith - Olivia Sudjic 30 Jan poster
Anj Smith - Olivia Sudjic 30 Jan poster

Anj Smith in-conversation

with Olivia Sudjic

painting as baggage handler

Wimbledon College of Arts Lecture Theatre

30 January 2020

Video of event to follow soon

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