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Simon Granell

Course Leader – MA Fine Art

MA (painting), BA (hons) 1st Class (painting)

Simón Granell studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art and The Slade School of Art, London. He is currently MA Fine Art Course Leader at the Arts University Bournemouth. Curatorial projects include Underground (2007) with Roger Ackling and Eric Butcher; a site-specific collaboration in the labyrinth of basement rooms at Shoreditch Town Hall, London, A Machine Aesthetic (2013-2014) at Gallery North, Northumbria University, The Gallery, The Arts University Bournemouth, University of Lincoln, Norwich University of the Arts and Transition Gallery, London and I know what I like (2015) with Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren. Solo exhibitions include In no particular order, (2008) text+work, Arts University Bournemouth, á Sanchez Cotán (2009) Trondheim, Norway and Nov ’07 – May 09 (detail), Projectspaceplus, Lincoln. Other projects include The devil finds work for idle hands at Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco (2012), Drawology: drawing as phenomenology (2013 – 14) Bonington Gallery Nottingham and Lanchester Gallery, Coventry and Midpointedness, (2014-15) The Lock Up, Newcastle, Australia and AirSpace Projects, Stoke on Trent.

He has also published a range of text-based works including The New Desk. (2016) In: Spyridou, T & Appios, V, CakeJournal Issue 1 – Can I have some of that? Nov ’07 – May 09 (detail). (2014) In: Andrew Bracey Detail. London: Transition Gallery. Ten Diary Entries [2010 – 2012], Journal for Artistic Research (JAR3) and guest-edited Garageland Magazine, Issue XVI ‘Machines’. He recently published A Recipe Book project exploring the importance and function of a recipe, as a practical, social or theoretical form of communication, a way to instruct, help or guide. As well as current students, contributions were invited from alumni, artists, academic and technical staff from the University community, professionals from the gallery world and friends.

2017 External Examiner, MA Drawing, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL 2016 Permeate Symposium, Otter Gallery, University of Chichester. Matthew Burrows, Matthew Collings, SachaCraddock and Sarah Dwyer Colour, Emotion, Non-Figuration: John Hoyland Revisited, Chelsea College of Arts. Keith Wilson, Katrina Blannin, Sam Cornish, Rhiannon Salisbury, Alexis Harding, Mel Gooding 2015 Richard Diebenkorn; A Riotous Calm, Sarah C Bancroft, Royal Academy of Arts Painting/Looking, Symposium, Usher Gallery, Lincoln. Beth Harland, Catherine Ferguson, Ann Bukantas, Richard Davey & Iain Andrews and Andrew Bracey 2014 The Studio & Beyond and Then & Now. National Association for Fine Art Education Symposium. The Swedenborg Society, London 2013 Agnes Martin. Arne Glimcher in conversation with Frances Morris, Tate Modern, London David Raymond Conroy, “I know that fantasies are full of lies (take II)”, Nottingham Contemporary 2011 Chance and Intention: Gerhard Richter’s Abstractions, Tate Modern, London. Benjamin H.D. Buchloh explored Richter’s interest in LucioFontana, Jean Fautrier and Robert Rauschenberg Artist Associate: Beyond the Commission Symposium. ArtSway Associate Programme, funded by the Leverhulme Trust Paradox Art Conference, Cork, Ireland. Outside In – The Permeable Art School explored how the contemporary Art School is no longer an ‘ivory tower’ but an institution that reaches out and influences the cultural landscape that surrounds it and the means of reciprocity by which society infiltrates and influences the Art School.

  • Member of the National Association for Fine Art Education (2014–present)
  • Member of The Society for Artistic Research (SAR), Berne, Switzerland (2012–present)
  • Member of The Institute for Learning (2007–present)
  • Senior Fellow - Higher Education Academy (2006–present)
  • Trustee - The Artworks, Poole, Dorset (2004–2009)

  • Arts Council of England Touring Grant - A Machine Aesthetic (2013–2014)

In Granell’s paintings there is no Ego, no Self. In order to work towards completion he must remove himself from the task and work towards something else, something other than himself. His task, his duty, is a long and arduous one. It is a lonely routine of preparation, attention towards completion. These finished works that belong on the wall, make it difficult for us to grasp this. They require us to stand very still and to listen, to pay attention to their presence and learn with our senses.

Making reference to an eclectic range of influences including Eastern philosophy, habituated behavior, phenomenology, Spanish still life painting and the writings of French philosopher François Jullien, his practice explores process through painting, drawing and text as metaphors for presentness. Strict parameters are employed to allow the uncontrolled to happen; the process of repetition leading either to ambiguity or articulation, each variation becoming writ large because of its repetitious nature, exploring processes and dynamic systems such as chaos theory that are highly responsive to initial conditions. Small differences in initial conditions are shown to result in widely divergent outcomes, despite the adoption of deterministic or mechanistic systems, creating work that engages the audience’s reception of it as phenomenological and bodily.

British abstract painting of the last two decades has seen it sufficient to make explicit a process as an event and explore its relationship with the grid and modernism. It has fallen short of ambition by doing precisely what it says on the tin. What of the capacity of a process to go beyond itself? Not just historically or conceptually, but viscerally, to point the viewer at themselves? We have forgotten our bodies and become tools for reflection using only our heads (or perhaps not). These different coloured monochromes are ‘situations’ that allow something to take place, not an attempt towards the modernist goal of the heroic gesture, a full stop frequently associated with the monochrome.