Professor Paul Coldwell is a practicing artist and researcher. His art practice includes prints, book works, sculptures, and installations. He has exhibited widely, and his work is included in numerous public collections, including Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), the British Museum, the Arts Council of England, and the Musee d’art et d’histoire, Geneva and MoMA (New York). He has been selected for numerous International Print Exhibitions including, the Ljubljana Print Biennial, the International Print Triennial, Krakow, and the Northern Print Biennial. In 2013 the Universities of Canterbury and Greenwich presented a survey exhibition of his prints, A Layered Practice Graphic Work 1993-2012. In the same year, he also had a solo exhibition at the Scott Polar Research Institute entitled Re-Imagining Scott which included prints, postcards, sculptures, and glassworks. Material Things at Gallery II, the University of Bradford in 2015 focused on the relationship between his sculptures and prints over a period of fifteen years.
Small Journeys (2016) was Coldwell’s first solo exhibition at Long & Ryle Gallery, London, followed by a solo exhibition at Gallery 25, Perth, Australia. In 2016-17 he presented new work at both the Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna (Setting Memory) and the Freud Museum London (Temporarily Accessioned) which was exhibited again at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury in 2021. This work was the subject of a film by Susan Steinberg entitled The Hope (available on Youtube). In 2018 he was included in ReConciliation at the History Museum Sarajevo for which he made newly commissioned pieces shown alongside earlier work which imaged the siege of Sarajevo. His installation A Life Measured: Seven sweaters for Nermin Divović, was acquired for the museum’s permanent collection and was featured in the exhibition Pazi Snajper in 2021.
In 2018 he was commissioned by the Swiss Graphic Society to produce an edition of prints for their 100th Anniversary.
In 2019, following a period of research supported by AHRC, he exhibited Picturing the Invisible at the Sir John Soane’s Museum and in 2019 was invited by the Estorick Collection to rehang their Morandi prints & drawings alongside his own work made in lockdown.
He has curated a number of exhibitions, including Digital Responses, V&A; Morandi’s Legacy; Influences on British Art at the Estorick Collection, London, (accompanied by a book published by Philip Wilson) and The Artists Folio at Cartwright Hall, Bradford (2014). He published a major survey of print-making, Printmaking: a Contemporary Perspective (Black Dog Publishers-2010) and is a regular contributor to a number of publications including, Art in Print, Printmaking Today, and Print Quarterly where he has been on the editorial board since 2009. Picturing the Invisible, co-edited with Professor Ruth Morgan is published by UCL Press in 2022. In 2011 he was chairman of the selection jury for the Imprint International Graphic Art Triennial in Warsaw, Poland, and one of the jurers for the Polish Print triennial in 2018. He was keynote speaker at Impact 7 International Printmaking Conference, Melbourne, Australia 2011, SNAP3 in Germany in 2015, and at the conference Art & Reconciliation in Sarajevo in 2018. In 2019 he was invited to visit the University of Indiana to present a McKinney endowed lecture and make new work in their print studios.
Over the last six years, he has conducted a series of public conversations at the University of the Arts London with prominent printmakers including Christiane Baumgartner, Thomas Kilpper, Jim Dine, Christopher Le Brun, Sean Caulfield, and William Kentridge. His recent exhibition at the Sir John Soane’s Museum Picturing the Invisible -The house seen from below was the result of a year of research in the museum and formed a contribution to the AHRC funded Network Picturing the Invisible.
My research is focused on a practice-based approach and located within fine art. Through printmaking, sculpture, installation and writing, I explore issues around absence and loss, with ideas crossing between media. A recurring question for me is how new technologies impact on previous processes, in particular within printmaking; and how digital technologies can inform and rejuvenate older technologies, such as etching and screenprint. This fits into my broader commitment to printmaking, both as a practitioner but also through raising awareness of the value and quality of print over and beyond its role as a reproducible media.