Born 1940 Dorset, Michael Simpson lives and works in Wiltshire. Graduated from Bournemouth College of Art (1960); and Royal College of Art, London (1963).
Simpson makes large scale paintings in ongoing series that repeat and rework a number of key elements. Rooted in a fascination with fifteenth century Venetian and early Flemish painting and inflected by the formal restraint and reduced palette of Minimalism, Simpson has developed a distinctive, darkly comedic artistic vocabulary with which to create works that move beyond their subject matter to question the nature of painting itself.
His works are held in public and private collections including Tate, London; The Start Museum, Shanghai; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; British Council, London; David Roberts Arts Foundation, London; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Lim Collection, Hong Kong; Schürmann Collection, Aachen; Stuyvesant Foundation; and Ulster Museum and Art Gallery, Belfast.
Selected solo exhibitions include Nosbaum Reding, Luxemburg (2021); New Paintings, Blain Southern, London (2019-2020); Selected works of Michael Simpson, Minsheng Museum of Art, Shanghai (2018); Squint, Blain Southern, Berlin (2017); 'Shall we Sit, Stand or Kneel?', with Hannah Levy and curated by Wills Baker, Marlborough Contemporary, New York (2016); Flat Surface Paintings, Spike Island, Bristol (2016); Bench Paintings and works on paper, Volta, New York (2008); Bench Paintings Recent Work 2005 - 2006, David Risley Gallery, London (2007); Bench Paintings 1992-1995, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and Oriel 31, Newtown (1996); and Recent Paintings, Serpentine Gallery, London (1985). Selected solo exhibitions include Words, Simon Lee Gallery, London (2020); Slow Painting, Hayward Touring Show Curated by Martin Herbert, Leeds Art Gallery (2019-2020); Class Reunion, Works from the Gaby & Wilhelm Schürmann Collection, Museum Moderner Künst, Stiftung and Ludwig Wein, Vienna (2018); British Council, The Painting Show, Goyang Aram Nuri Art Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art (2017); Revolt of the Sage, Blain Southern, London (2016); John Moores Painting Prize, Liverpool (2016); Tightrope Walk; Painted Images After Abstraction, White Cube Bermondsey, London (2016); On the Immense and the Numberless, Curated by Barry Schwabsky, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen (2016).
Awards include First Prize, John Moores Prize (2016); Winner of the London Arts Foundation Fellowship in Painting (1999); the Tolly Cobald Open Prize, Cambridge (1977); and Major Award of the Arts Council of Great Britain (1976).
Last updated: 30.04.2021