Maria Chevska

Maria Chevska is a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford and is Professor of Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. She lives and works in London.

Chevska’s visual art practice incorporates painting, sculpture and installation, often engaging specifically with literature and writers. Primarily a painter whose works emerge through the interaction of idea, material and process, she values the ability to embody the unseen, unique to this medium, yet often expanding its boundaries through a multi-disciplinary practice.

“My paintings could not have been described as pictorial for a long time now, although their objecthood is always important. I have been interested in the paint itself, and colour – tonality, they are often black and white; it is substance, stuff. In 1990 I decided not to work on a traditional canvas and used instead a stretched fabric. That changed things because fabric is also a social object – using found elements in paintings seemed more direct than a reproduced image… It opened a lot of possibilties for me within the practice of painting.

One of the aspects of focusing on material and using found things [is] that they are not made in the same way – they are not stylistically the same. I liberated myself from the idea that I had a style. So colour decisions are very deliberate. Color has often confused me as a painter – when to use it and for what function? Colour needs either to be describing something or to represent an idea.”