london

Phoebe Unwin, Swimmer, 2010, acrylic, pastel, and pastel ground on canvas, 67 x 47 1/2".

Phoebe Unwin

Wilkinson Gallery

Phoebe Unwin, Swimmer, 2010, acrylic, pastel, and pastel ground on canvas, 67 x 47 1/2".

Something has been happening in the painting departments of London’s art schools in recent years. The Royal College of Art, Slade School of Fine Art, Goldsmiths, and the Royal Academy of Arts have all turned out young painters who have rapidly ascended into the city’s best contemporary galleries and collections. While it seems harsh to be so reductive, there is a common thread many of them share: a semi-naive, figurative approach that pays homage to Guston and early Picasso, often offering Dana Schutz a deferential nod too. The trouble is, not all of the members of this new “London School” are as great as the hype suggests. Phoebe Unwin, though, is definitely one of the good ones. Her recent solo exhibition, “Man made,” may not have been perfect, but it did show the potential of her thoughtful approach to paint.

Unwin lays thin, watery images on top of one another, a technique that

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 2011 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.