British-French artist Emma Neuberg (b. London, 1969) graduated from the Fashion & Textiles Department of the internationally renowned Royal College of Art, London, in 2000 with a practice-based PhD in Printing Techniques for Synthetics. There she worked alongside Ron Arad, Alice Temperley, Julien MacDonald, Andrew Logan, Anna Sui and Vivienne Westwood, among others, and has worked with colour and printing technologies ever since developing large structures for installation and collaborating with established and emergent names in art and design. Her studio features as the backdrop for the HBO/BBC series Civilizations (a remake of Kenneth Clarke’s original) for its colour section presented by Philip Ball, author of Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Colour.
The momentous drive in her gestural painting focuses on imagined landscapes, syzygetic forces, elemental pulls and internal clashes. Blocks of colour are dragged and pushed across paper and canvas in powerful, disruptive abstractions that merge, vibrate, pour and blend. Recalled and imagined landscapes blur and overlap in layers of oil and pigment and scale-up into large canvases, folding sculptures and immersive installations. The scale and dynamism in Neuberg’s work are attributed to her architectural vision, formative training in Sculpture and European Art History and a childhood spent in Greece, England and France.
Saff Williams, curator at Studio 7 Projects (Acrylicize), host to Frieze Academy London, recently wrote of Neuberg’s site specific work at Aldgate Tower, East London:
“Drape is an immersive forest of 20 fabric folds patterned with brightly bold and textured foliage, bringing the outside world in. Totems to the natural world, this installation subtly breathes in the space as the geometric artworks softly flutter in the breeze and move the viewer’s eye from the artworks’ surface to their abstracted depths.”
Neuberg’s most recent exhibition was the critically-acclaimed solo show, Memory of Colour, at The Forge, East London, curated by Helen Kemp at Craft Central UK. The show brought together a site-specific, iridescent installation of Drape with some of the original pastel drawings alongside (2014 – 18) and new, experimental oil paintings.
Neuberg enjoys several prestigious awards from TechTextil (Germany), The Textile Institute (UK) and National Endowment for the Science Technology and Arts (UK), among others, for her innovations with materials, colour and colour application. She has lectured in the Digital Design Suite at the V&A since 2010 and, in 2012, was selected for the Young Masters’ Art Prize UK. In 2016, she was named one of Britain’s “New Fabric Designers” by The Observer Magazine and The Guardian. She is founding director of The Geometrics, a group of London-based European artists whose work builds upon its modernist heritage with angular and grid-based work. She is also founding director of Textiles Hub London, a studio collective of artists and designers working with textiles. Neuberg enjoys a Sir Winston Churchill Lifetime Fellowship for her contribution to industrial printing technologies for the arts.
Her first group show was Artists as Rugmakers, 1994 – 5, the Great British touring exhibition synthesizing British Modernism and textiles with EQ Nicholson, Tim Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson and Ben Nicholson. Her constellatory dialogue with British and European modernism, gestural painting and the tactile surface, its future vision and trajectory continues to thrive and develop internationally.
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Photo credit: Cristina Schek