Tim Braden’s artistic practice centers on the close observation of light and space as experienced through his immediate purview. Rather unusually, Braden embraces both representation and abstraction. Softly rendered, occasionally historical figurative work meet lush, neo-impressionist landscapes and wide, airy abstractions on an equal playing field. Fabled interiors and bright, sunny exteriors build an equally fascinating narrative in paint.
On the one hand, his paintings reference historical photographs, book and magazine covers, or anecdotes surrounding celebrated art darlings of the past such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Sonia Delauney, and Henri Matisse. He handles oil paints with a deft brush that conjures pure hues with the lyricism of a watercolor. On the other, Braden’s ‘found’ abstract compositions play with scale and expectation, parsing cropped fragments of his own figurative works into oversized paintings on canvas, or, alternately, small oil sketches on card. Both materiality of paint and his subject matter produce scenes that suspend time entirely—one has no idea whether they were painted yesterday or in 1901.
His veneration of that wild Fauve master, Matisse, is evident, both compositionally and through his irreverent color. According to Christopher Bedford, the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, “Much like Matisse, Braden is adept at collapsing space to produce compositions that are disorienting and beguiling, and that, through the very deliberate creation of perceptual confusion, slow the act of looking way down.” Furthermore, Bedford writes, “Braden’s paintings are boldly wrought, emotionally raw records of looking and looking again that span the gamut from lofty reflection to whimsical reflection.”
Tim Braden was born in 1975 in Perth, Scotland. He studied at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford; St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, Russia and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He has exhibited worldwide, including the Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow; Gemeente Museum, The Hague; Hamburger Bahnhof at Museum fur Gegenwart, Berlin; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; Museum van Loon, Amsterdam; the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; and the Goethe Institute in New York. His work is in many public and private collections internationally, including New Art Gallery, Walsall, and the Zabludowicz Collection, London. In 2018, ART/BOOKS published his monograph, Tim Braden: Looking at Painting, with essays by Jennifer Higgie, Christopher Bedford, and Domonic Molon. Tim Braden will be included in the forthcoming Contemporary British Painting volume II, published by Anomie in 2021. The artist currently lives and works in London.