Michael Armitage

Born 1984 Nairobi, Michael Armitage lives and works in London. Graduated from The Slade School of Art, London (2007); and The Royal Academy Schools, London (2010).

Michael Armitage's paintings weave multiple narratives that are drawn from historical and current news media, internet gossip, and his own ongoing recollections of Kenya, his country of birth.

Living and working between London and Nairobi, Armitage paints with oil on Lubugo, a traditional bark cloth from Uganda, which is beaten over a period of days creating a natural material which when stretched taut has occasional holes and coarse indents. As noted by the artist, the use of Lubugo is at once an attempt to locate and destabilise the subject of his paintings.

His works are held in public and private collections including the Frank Suss Collection.

Selected solo exhibitions include Accomplice, Norval Foundation, Cape Town (2020); Projects 110, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); The Promised Land, MCA Australia, Sydney (2019); The Promised Land, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2019); The Chapel, South London Gallery (2017); Peace Coma, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2017); Strange Fruit, White Cube, Hong Kong, CN (2017); Michael Armitage / MATRIX 263, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, US (2016); Inside the White Cube: Michael Armitage, White Cube Bermondsey, London, UK (2015); and Royal Academy of Art, London (2010).

Selected group exhibitions include Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2020); Slow Painting, Leeds Art Gallery and Levinsky Gallery, Plymouth (2019-2020); May You Live in Interesting Times, 58th Venice Biennale (2019); Prisoner of Love, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2019); Memory Palace, White Cube, London (2018); People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, North Carolina (2018); Talisman in the Age of Difference, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2018); Now, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2017); Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, New Orleans, Louisiana (2017); Drawing Biennial 2017, Drawing Room, London (2017); Imitation of Life: Melodrama and Race in the 21st Century Home, Manchester, UK (2016); Some Are Nights Other Stars, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, UK (2016); Tightrope Walk: Painted Images After Abstraction, White Cube Bermondsey, London, UK (2015); La vie Moderne: La 13th Biennale de Lyon Lyon, FR (2015); I am, because of you, Yuan Museum, Beijing, CN (2015); and 100 Painters of Tomorrow, Beers Contemporary, London (2014).

Awards include being shortlisted for 100 Painters of Tomorrow, London (2014).

Last updated: 07.05.2021


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