Alison Turnbull

Born 1956 Bogotá, Alison Turnbull lives and works in London. Graduated from Academia Arjona, Madrid (1977); Foundation Course, West Surrey College of Art & Design (1978); and BA Fine Art (Painting), Bath Academy of Art, Corsham (1981).

Turnbull transforms readymade information – plans, diagrams, blueprints, charts – into abstract paintings. The found source material is reimagined and made vivid through colour and the intensity of the worked picture surface.  It ranges from architecture to astronomy, from mathematics to the natural world. Yet for all their external reference points, her works are very much abstract paintings, removed from the conventions of narrative.
Drawing is central to Turnbull’s work. Maybe all her drawings are ‘working drawings’, as each is a kind of working through: a system played out, a logic pursued, a serial iteration.

Her works are held in public and private collections including Arts Council Collection, London; British Council Collection, London; Imperial War Museum, London; The United Kingdom Government Art Collection; and Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton. 

Selected exhibitions include Out of Line, Saicoro, Tokyo (2020); Into the Labyrinth, Large Glass, London and Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire (2020); From Narrow Provinces, Cample Line, Thornhill (2019); Utopia/Dystopia Revisited, Annely Juda Fine Art, London (2019); If Mimicry Minded, Matt’s Gallery, London (2018); Japanese Paintings, Rodic Davidson Architects, London (2018); Cloud Diagram, Art Seen Contemporary Projects and Exhibitions, Nicosia (2016); Five Easy Pieces,  Large Glass, London (2017); Seeing Round Corners: the Art of the Circle, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016); Compression, Ormston House Gallery, Limerick (2015); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Art, London (2014); Like a Secret Spring in a Well-ordered Machine, Shandy Hall, Coxwold (2014); Alison Turnbull, De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea (2013); and Alison Turnbull, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2012).

Awards include being appointed as Artist/Curator at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (2020).

Last updated: 06.05.2021

Exhibitions