EXHIBITION DATES: Friday 13th January – Friday 9th March 2012
Open Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm
Closed Weekends and Bank Holidays
WIMBLEDON space | Wimbledon College of Art | Merton Hall Road | London SW19 3QA
Thursday 29th March – Saturday 12th May 2012
Open Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm (closed Bank Holidays)
Phoenix Gallery | Exeter Phoenix | Bradninch Place | Exeter EX4 3LS
Phillip Allen and Dan Coombs have asked over 100 artists to make paintings of the nude. Many of the
paintings will be unseen before the hang, and the artists hope the show will create a rich network of
images that will establish a context for representation of the body in contemporary painting.
In recent decades the idea of the nude has been in decline in art‐school: life drawing is no longer
practiced widely, ideas and research are currently preeminent. The tradition of teaching painting in British
art schools has grown out of non‐referential painting, abstraction and formalism; and the objective,
realist tradition of painting the figure died with Euan Uglow.
Would it not be apposite then, to take a look at this neglected genre? The nude seems ripe for a
reawakening; it is an implicitly psychological genre, tapping directly into the artistic psyche.
The show is an aesthetic experiment presenting a comprehensive range of responses to the subject. In
part, Coombs and Allen’s interest lies in the idea of imposing a subject onto the participating artists, or
taking away the normal responsibility the artist necessarily has for their subject. Or, giving to particular
artists a subject they perhaps not normally deal with, as many of the participating artists are abstract
The subject is vast and the nude is a fundamental subject for Western Art, or the art of any culture. The
nude, along with the sublime landscape or the dramatic portrait, is one of the few truly universal subjects.
In Coombs’ words, ‘the distinction between the naked and the nude is like the difference between the
represented and the real. The nude body I take as the naked body in a state of representation. Either
through being posed or painted, the nude is never fully naked ‐ the body has something projected on to it,
it is made to stand for something. Through gesture, through deportment, through atmosphere, the nude
is made to embody an idea, a feeling, a philosophy, a way of being’.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
• DAN COOMBS (born 1971) is represented by The Fine Art Society, London. Recent solo shows include Heaven and Earth, Fine
Art Society, London (2011) and The Dreamers, FRED, London (2009). Recent group shows include Disputatio, Gooden Gallery,
London (2011); The Beard, Charlie Smith London (2011); What Have I Done (with Tim Stoner and Neal Tait), Fine Art Society,
London (2010); Collage, FRED Gallery (2009). Dan Coombs is associate editor of Turps Banana magazine and Visiting Lecturer in
Painting at Wimbledon College of Art.
• PHILLIP ALLEN (born 1967) studied at the Royal College of Art (1990‐92) and Kingston University (1987 – 1990). Recent solo
shows include Capital P, The Approach, London (2011); …the urgent hang around, Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens (2010); Kelin
Gallery, Dublin (2009); Sloppy Cuts No Ice, The Approach W1, London (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Fabio Tiboni arte
Contemporanea, Bologna, Italy (2010); Kaleidoscopic Revolver, The Total Museum, Seoul, Korea; Hanjiyun Contemporary Space,
Beijing, China (2009); Pattern Recognition, The City Gallery, Leicester, UK; M25 Around London, curated by Barry Schwabsky,
Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca, Spain. He lives and works in London.
• THE PERFECT NUDE invited artists include: Jeremy Akerman, Phillip Allen, Tim Allen, Linda Aloysius, Uliana Apatina, Kay
Bainbridge, Aglae Bassens, Marianne Basualdo, Kiera Bennett, Simon Betts, Simon Bill, Rachel Blackwell, Elaine Brown, Greig
Burgoyne, Stephen Chambers, Jake Clark, Richard Clegg, Daniel Coombs, Ian Dawson, Jeff Dellow, Jeff Dennis, Nelson
Diplexcito, John Dougill, Sarah Douglas, Geraint Evans, Mark Fairnington, Stephen Farthing, Georgie Flood, Rebecca Foster,
Matt Galpin, Alex Gene Morrison, Ana Genoves, William Gharraie, Adam Gillam, Andrew Graves, Jonny Green,
Marilyn Hallam, Alexis Harding, Andy Harper, Dereck Harris, Vincent Hawkins, Aly Helyer, Celia Hempton, Sam Herbert, Tom
House, Paul Housley, Vanessa Jackson, Will Jarvis, Chantal Joffe, Pete Jones, Michael Kirkbride, Hannah Knox, Chris Koning, Peter Lamb, Darius
Lambert, Mindy Lee, Dave Leeson, Steve Lewis, Cathy Lomax, Paula MacArthur, Alastair Mackinven, Lee Maelzer, Bob
Matthews, John McLeod, Damien Meade, Gina Medcalf, Hugh Mendes, Mali Morris, Jost Muenster, Darren Murray, Ishbel
Myerscough, Iain Nicholls, Joe Packer, Rebecca Partridge, Katie Pratt, David Rayson, Barry Reigate, Geoff Rigden, Howard
Rogers, Danny Rolph, Greg Rook, Robert Rush, Alli Sharma, Dominic Shepherd, Benet Spencer, Ruth Stage, Andrew Stahl, Tim
Stoner, John Strutton, Emma Talbot, Diana Taylor, Joe Tomlin, Katherine Tulloh, Covadonga Valdes, Alex Veness, Roxy Walsh,
John Walter, David Webb, Rob Welch, Freya White, Laura White, Sam Windett, Mark Wright, Vicky Wright.
• WIMBLEDON space (formerly the gallery at Wimbledon) was established in 2004. It contributes to and builds upon the strong
emphasis and tradition of practice and research within the College through the promotion and dissemination of the visual arts
in this context. The exhibition programme reflects the specialist subjects on offer within the College, Fine Art and Theatre
Design, and a particular focus on Drawing.
• Wimbledon College of Art has a century‐long heritage as one of the UK’s leading art institutions. With a first‐class reputation,
the College fosters a creative community in which students develop at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels,
with the unique guidance and expertise of tutors who continue to practice as professional artists, designers and researchers.
• University of the Arts London is a vibrant international centre for innovative teaching and research in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts, operating at the heart of the world’s creative capital. The University’s unique creative community is made up of six distinctive and distinguished Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Art.
Renowned names in the cultural and creative sectors produced by the University include 12 Turner prize winners and over half of all nominees, 10 out of 17 fashion designers named British Designer of the Year, more than half of the designers showcased in London Fashion Week and 12 out of 30 winners of the Jerwood Photography Award.
• PRESS ONLY: For high resolution images (300dpi+) and for further information about WIMBLEDON space, please contact