Clare Woods was born in Southampton in 1972. She received a BA in Fine Art Sculpture from Bath School of Art in 1994 and an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmith’s College in 1999. She lives and works in Hereford.
Woods’ distinctive style is informed by her background in sculpture; large, gestural brushstrokes are used to sculpt objects within the pictorial plane. Woods’ still life and figurative paintings are unmistakably rooted in real space and time, but abstracted by bold, fluid marks upon the aluminum surface. It is through the materiality of paint that a simultaneous de/re construction of form, obscuring that which seems immediately discernible.
In much of her previous work, Woods’ concern with landscape has been paramount. However, since 2011 her images have been increasingly preoccupied with conveying the human form. Much of Woods’ recent work is concerned with fragility, vulnerability, mortality and disability; the delicate border that exists between sickness and health, cruelty and humanity, and ultimately life and death. Despite the varying degrees of brightly coloured abstraction and compositional distortions, Woods’ anthropomorphic studies bring to mind heads, limbs and torsos. It is like seeing the body through a distorted lens, defamiliarising and estranging it.
Woods has had many solo exhibitions both in Britain and international locations including Copenhagen, Berlin, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Athens, Madrid, Prague, and Art Basel in Switzerland. She is currently represented by Martin Asbæk Gallery in Copenhagen, Buchmann Gallery in Berlin, Night Gallery in LA, and Cristea Roberts Gallery in London for works on paper.
Her work is found in many major public collections including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, US; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Arts Council Collection, London, UK; Government Art Collection, London, UK; Southampton City Art Gallery, UK; Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle, UK; The National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Wales; The Towner, Eastbourne and The Hepworth Wakefield, UK.
Born: 1972 in Southampton
Elected RA: 9 June 2022