Kurt Hickson is a mixed media artist that draws on the vocabulary of painting to explore ideas of taste, tradition and process. Remixing action painting, pop art, hard-edge abstraction, and language-based conceptualism Kurt examines reoccurring trends within art, questioning our expectations of painting in a time when many consider it to be obsolete.

Recent works combine found 'ready-made' objects and materials with recycled 'ready-made' techniques and visual languages. Reprocessing failed artworks, studio clutter and exhibition off-cuts Kurt subverts any original meaning or function into simple repetition and pattern. Avoiding the depersonalisation of pure geometry he attempts to recall the 'happy accident' found in 1950s gestural abstraction, sometimes adding drips and painterly mark making to the sense of order. Transforming accumulated objects, the works are self-reflective assemblages that point to the decorative objects found in our everyday lives.

Through a combination of monochromes, stripes, gestural brushstrokes, grids and 'accidental' drips Kurt refers to a self-referential art world of 'ready-made' effects, gimmicks and clichés. Whilst embracing these retro beginnings Kurt confronts the so-called 'death of painting' with a playful DIY approach to making, revamping the traditions of abstract painting with modern materials and experimental methods of production. Sampling and shifting between styles Kurt explores the act, process and materiality of painting as it battles a world of commercial images, new media art forms and its own historical baggage.


Image: Tegen Kimbley