Mick Finch

Profile image of Reader in Visual Art Practice Course Leader in BA Fine Art

Reader in Visual Art Practice Course Leader in BA Fine Art

Central Saint Martins

Biography

Mick Finch’s research takes the form of studio practice, writing and pedagogical projects. He exhibits his work regularly and internationally most recently in Engrams, a one-person show at the Piper Gallery (London 2013) and the group show Painting, Tableau, Stage (Urban Space, Columbus, Ohio, 2013). 

He has published widely on visual art practices and is associate editor of the Journal of Visual Art Practice and the Journal of Contemporary Painting for which in 2015, he co-edited a special edition on Simon Hantai’s work. He lived, exhibited and taught for 20 years in France and has written extensively about post-war French art. He leads the Tableau research project at CSM an outcome of which was the conference Tableau: Painting Photo Object at Tate Modern in 2011. More information can be found on the Tableau project’s blog.   

He is a member of the French research group Peinture: un réseau de recherche funded by the French Ministry of Culture and with whom he is currently developing a project about translation in relation to artistic practice. In 2011 he was an Abbey Fellow in Painting at the British School in Rome and he is a Senior Scholar of the Terra Foundation in Paris.  

Research interests

Image, painting, photography, collage, montage, the tableau form, pathos-formula.

Research statement

Mick Finch’s studio practice was initially based in painting. Since the exhibition Closer Than You Think (Art et Patrimoine, Paris, 1998) his work has increasingly engaged with questions of image and abstraction, moving away from specific questions of painting in favour of open pictorial regimes.

In the  article Studio notes: Closer Than You Think, Ply- series, Riposte, Sublimey and Nevermind (The Journal of Visual Art Practice, n°. 8.1/2., 2009) he developed a discussion around his studio practice focusing on the modes of address of images as being akin to rhetorical and aesthetic structures. 

From 1996 his work increasingly used image mediation and projection in the production of work and he discussed this context in the article The Night Shift (Contemporary Magazine n°. 58, 2003). Finch lived and worked in France from 1991 – 2008 and became increasingly interested in post-war French and particularly the work of  groups such as Supports-surfaces, Ja na pa and BMPT. This was reflected in many of his writing and in terms of the critical context of his studio practice. He formulated a project that examined a problematic whereby, in French the term tableau is often mobilized as an alternative to painting (peinture). This distinction seems one reason why ‘expanded’ forms of painting in France are very distinct in their engagement from non-French manifestations. He gave a talk about his own work in 2009 for ICFAR in London that discusses in detail these issues.

He established the Tableau Project in 2010 that has included a research symposium (the proceedings of which were published by the Journal of Visual Culture, Volume 12, Number 1 in 2013,  the conference, Tableau: Painting, Photo, object) at Tate Modern in 2011 and a series of seminars The Tableau Form: methodology and composition given by Jean-François Chevrier at CSM in 2011. Finch’s work from 2010 onward became increasing involved with photo-relief structures and ideas of collage and montage that derive much context from the work of Aby Warburg. This work was developed through a residency at the British School at Rome in 2011 and in the solo exhibition Engrams (The Piper Gallery, London, 2013).

He is soon to publish two articles about the technical apparatus that Aby Warburg utilized. This was in the context of papers presented during Martin Westwood’s Headstone to Hard Drive project. Finch and Westwood are currently collaborating with the Bilderfahrzeugeresearch project at the Warburg institute in London toward stage a colloquium event at the Warburg haus in Hamburg in June 2016.

Selected research outputs

  • Synthetic Composition 1, 1923: Some Possible Constellations

    Finch, Mick (2015) Synthetic Composition 1, 1923: Some Possible Constellations. In: Władysław Strzemiński. Readability of Images. Muzeum Sztuki, Lódź, Poland, pp. 145-162. ISBN 978-83-63820-39-8

  • The Technical Apparatus of the Warburg Haus

    Finch, Mick (2015) The Technical Apparatus of the Warburg Haus. In: Headstone to Hard Drive III. Spolia, Relic, Data, 25 June 2015, British School at Rome

  • Dead and Alive: Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas

    Finch, Mick (2014) Dead and Alive: Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas. In: Headstone to Hard Drive, Monument to Folly 1, 25 October 2014, CSM

  • Eric de Chassy on Simon Hantai

    De Chassey, Eric and Finch, Mick (2015) Eric de Chassy on Simon Hantai. Journal of Contemporary Painting, 1 (2). pp. 277-299. ISSN 20526695

  • Painting / Tableau / Stage

    Elliot, Stuart and Finch, Mick and Harland, Beth and Derby, Moyra (2013) Painting / Tableau / Stage

  • The 'Tableau Project'

    Finch, Mick (2013) The 'Tableau Project'. Journal of Visual Art Practice, 12 (1). pp. 2-9. ISSN 17589185

  • Studio notes: Closer Than You Think, Ply- series, Riposte, Sublimey and Nevermind

    Finch, Mick (2009) Studio notes: Closer Than You Think, Ply- series, Riposte, Sublimey and Nevermind. Journal of Visual Art Practice, 8 (1-2). pp. 83-98. ISSN 1470-2029

  • Engrams Rome 2001

    Finch, Mick (2011) Engrams Rome 2011. Developed during Finch’s Abbey Fellowship in Painting at the British School at Rome (BSR) (January-March 2011)

  • Engrams 2013

    Finch, Mick (2013) Engrams 2013. An exhibition and publication that took place at the Piper Gallery London in 2013 of the Engram series of photo reliefs that were developed since a residency at the British School at Rome in 2011.