Graham Lister

Graham Lister

Graham Lister (b.1982) is a painter and researcher based in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2016, he completed a Practice-based PhD at the Glasgow School of Art. Within this extensive body of research, he focused on the use of painting as a tool for exploring contemporary everyday experiences of space and place through examining surface materialities and barrier forms. His ongoing painting practice is concerned with the activity of painting as a way of distilling lived physical and virtual experiences. His work encompasses gradual abstraction processes which allow him to better understand the visual codes and surface materialities of the spatial environments which so often go unnoticed within our everyday lives. Recent exhibitions in Edinburgh, Manchester and Berlin have made use of large-scale painting installations to explore ways in which gallery spaces can be controlled and altered through the creation of internal barrier-type works. Graham is currently a Lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, within the department of Painting and Printmaking.

About Work

‘In Isolation Together’; restrictions for moving around, with limited contact and few choices for physical activities. With connections and interconnections being ever-more limited, given the current situation comprising lockdowns and barriers to interactions, recent painted works have gained a new sense of significance. Initially starting as aesthetic investigations of barriers and fencing materials, they now read as more significant statements regarding the ways that human contact has been curtailed. With close-contact limited, those previous activities of physically or mentally blocking off, of restricting and of barring access seem of much less importance. It is as if the removal of the possibilities of interaction has opened the eyes of many people to how important ‘real’ movement, real contact and real connection can actually be. Where once there were physical or metaphorical lines segregating communication or interaction, local and global communities have broken down these fences, these barriers, these blockages in new and challenging ways – a new togetherness, in this time of isolation.

You can follow his work at:

Expanding Barrier Hang-Ups, oil on canvas, 2019
Dark Grille (or Lost Kisses), oil on canvas, 2018-19
Grille, oil on canvas (installation shot with wire mesh), 2019
Kiss, oil on canvas, 2018-19
Shop Shutter, oil on paper, 2020
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