Approved: 16.08.2006

Michael Bartlett

Artist, Curator, Teacher

Approved: 16.08.2006

Artist Statement


 ‘A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.’
Diane Arbus

 Mike Bartlett makes paintings of galleries, paintings of people, paintings of shows and inevitably paintings of paintings.

This doubling interaction between observer, viewer and viewed becomes an ambiguous statement on the nature of the public act of looking at pictures and the private one of making them.

Bartlett travels around attending exhibitions and recording his observations with a distinctive painting style. Bartlett paints in a loosely expressive style with richly coloured layers.

Behind the everyday ‘going to see a show’ which all artists do, Bartlett has found a conceptual impetus for using this ‘going’ as the spur on for back-in-the-studio image-making.

Photography, images from historical and contemporary art are often included in Bartlett’s paintings.

His source of imagery is often layered and added too to create immersive Utopias and Dystopias which allows him the flexibility to expand his scope to include images from childhood stories or use the ‘Zoo’ as a place of looking and viewing and  to explore cultural issues around Art and contemporary life.

‘He approaches each subject with respect and tenderness with a very strong sense of humanity. The works are not just cold observations.

CV & Education

Qualifications and training

2004 - BA (Hons) First Class in Fine Art, School of Art and Design, University of Portsmouth 1998 - BA Education, School of Education, University of Portsmouth


2020                    Online Art, Chapel Arts , Andover

                            Seeing Red , Jack House Gallery, Southsea

                            Picture Palace, Transition Two London

                            People Pictures with Sarh Jeffries and Kevin Dean, Jack House Gallery ,                               Southsea

2019                    Picture Interrupted with Sarh Jeffries, Transition Gallery , London

2018                  Very Small Paintings, Jack House Gallery, Southsea

2017                  Narratives,  Studio Gallery of Dr. Marius Von Brasch, Niton , Isle of Wight

2016                   30/30 with Enzo Marra, Transition Gallery , London

                          Let's Make a Better World, The Cello factory, London

                          The Names, Transition Gallery , London

                          The Names, Sluice Art Fair, Oxo Tower, London

2015                   Paper , Transition Gallery at The Sluice Art Fair, London

                          Miraculous Urgency , Now and Again. Brighton 

                          Secret , Royal College of Art, London

                          Heads, Yellow Gallery, Italy

2014                   ART/Converters! Studio 1.1, London

                          Atomic, Transition Off-site , London

                          Secret , Royal College of Art, London

                          The Lost Hour, Gasp gallery Portsmouth

2013         Solo :Stansted Heads, Stansted House, West Sussex

                          Secret , Royal College of Art, London

                          Duplicity, Transition Gallery, London

2012                   Escape, Transition off site at Aid & Abet Cambridge 

                          400 Women, Sugar City, Holland

                          Equinox, Transition Gallery, London

                          Turtle Salon, Meter Room, Coventry

2011                   Secret,  Royal College of Art, London

            Curated: ZOO, Meter Room, Coventry

                          Sluice Art Fair with Transition Gallery, London

            Curated: ComeTogether/Come Appart, Gasp Gallery , Portsmouth

                          400 Women, Canongate Venture, Edinburgh Festival

                          We are all in this together, Bureau, Manchester

                          Fade Away, Gallery North, Newcastle plus Publication

2010                   Fade Away, Transition Gallery London

                          ARTBLITZ, Transition Gallery, London                        

                          400 Women, Shoreditch Old Town Hall, London

                          Big Society, Space Station 65, London

                          Doubles, with Cathy Lomax, Stone Gallery , Dublin

                          Left of Vision 3, SOAS, University of London

2009    Curated:   The Days Before, with Cathy Lomax, Patrick Galway, Marcus Cope. The                               Grey Area , Brighton       

                          The Image Duplicator, with Cathy Lomax, CA Projects,London

                          Drawing with Dolphins, Crimes Town Gallery, London

2008                   AWOPBOPALOOBOP, Transition  Gallery, London

                          Forget Me, Fort Brockhurst, Gosport

                          The Image Duplicator, with Cathy Lomax at gAsp Gallery and Aspex ARC                              space, Portsmouth

                          Start Your Collection, Contemporary Art Projects , Rivington Street, London

                          The Painting Room , Transition Gallery, London

                           Lost, Solo Show, Millais Gallery Project Space, Southampton

                          Left of Vision 2, SOAS, University of London

                          Annual Summer Exhibition, Oisin Gallery, Dublin
2007                   Peer Esteem, Five Years Gallery, London

                          Repetition, Havana Gallery, Southsea

                          Old Age, Tribal Urge, Southsea

                          Snake Oil Van Gallery, Manchester Art Car Parade,  Manchester

                          Turning the Tide on Climate Change, Portsmouth Carhedral, Southsea

                          Summer and Winter Shows,Oisin Gallery, Dublin

                          Left in Vision,SOAS, University of London

                          Art Shed,Mantle Arts, Leic.

                          Resurgence, Langstone Gate, Havant

2006 Residency:As It Is, The Gallery in Cork Street,Art Space Residency, London

                          Grotto, Studio 1.1, London

                          Peace Camp, selected by Bob and Roberta Smith, Brick Lane Gallery,                                   London

                          Gift, Museum Man, Liverpool Biennial Fringe, Liverpool

             Curated:Rework/Replay,The Grey Area, Brighton

                          Objects in Waiting,End Gallery, Sheffield Hallam University

                          Famous Last Words,The Grey Area, Brighton

                          Temporary Contemporary,Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester

                          H-Hammer,Terrace Gallery. Dalston, London

2005                   Fuck Art Lets Paint, Transition Gallery, London

                          Faces,Art Car Museum ,Houston, Texas

                          Faces, 20/21 Visual Art Centre, Scunthorpe

2004                   Redundancy,Aspex Gallery Project Space, Portsmouth

            Curated:Private Views, Third Floor Art Gallery, Portsmouth

                  Solo: Point of View, Sadler Gallery, Havant

2003                   Self Portrait,Southampton City Art Gallery

                          View, Artsway ,New Forest

                          Sandwich,Other Gallery, Southsea

2002                   Animal, Artsway, New Forest