Born in 1985 in Gravesend, Kent, Matthew John Atkinson received his B.A. at Loughborough University in 2007. Since graduating, Atkinson’s paintings have evolved from ethereal and nostalgic hinterlands to eerily constructed and ambiguous paintings, exploring the moral and finite reality that humans have formed. His paintings challenge the viewer to reflect upon and enter into a dialogue concerning their universal vulnerability and empathy: rather than to find ways to deflect and postpone.
Atkinson is a painter whose work has an unsettling power allied to a restless use of painterly skill. Where his work has traces of Richter, Polke and Doig he works with a fusion of techniques to produce works by turns poignant, calculating, hopeful and otherworldly.
Since leaving Loughborough University (2007) Atkinson has gained vital experience through Residencies in both France at Triangle Association in Marseille (2008) and London at the Florence Trust (2008-2009), where he was awarded the Fenton Arts trust Bursary. His work has received continued interest with various group shows around Europe including Bright Lights of London Painting, Tilburg (2010), The Importance of Being Original, Padova (2012) and Speak, Clown!, London (2013).
He has been chosen to represent the UK at the Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean in Puglia (2008) and again at WEYA in Nottingham (2012).
Furthermore, Atkinson was shortlisted for the Mercury Art Prize in 2007, Celeste Art Prize in 2007 and the Marmite Art Prize III.
Atkinson’s first solo show was at ‘Show Off’ art fair in Paris (2010) with Numéro Six Art Contemporain, with his second represented by NAM project Gallery in Milan (2013). His third solo show was with Albanase Arte in Italy (2014), fourth with Superior Gallery in Seoul (2017) and fifth with Nam Project in Milan (2018).