Emma Fineman




Producing imagery deeply rooted in the personal, Emma Fineman (born 1991) often draws on memories that act as starting points for her works, which are conceived on the border between drawing and painting.

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Early Life and Training

Born in 1991 in Berkeley, California, Emma Fineman was raised in Oakland before moving to Baltimore in 2009 to complete a BFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art, minoring in gender studies. Fineman received an MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London in 2018.

Artistic Practice

Fineman conceives of her work on the borders between drawing and painting; the subjects of her paintings are sketchily traced onto the canvas before she focuses on a prolonged meditation of gestural painting. Her works are deeply rooted in the personal, often drawn from memories that act as starting points for her paintings, which she will often work on over an extended period, returning to certain works as her experiences with each memory develops. Fineman re-creates these memories on a realistic scale in which she abstracts form and figures into simplified shapes and swathes of bright colour, complimented and contrasted by muted, flesh tones.

Influenced by contemporary experience in the era of mass communication, Fineman is fascinated by painting’s ability to collapse time, allowing multiple narratives to exist within a single work. Her recent work has explored the frenetic and often chaotic multi-sensory experience of contemporary existence, stretching works over multiple canvases in order to layer several narratives and approaches to a single memory in one work. Occasionally, Fineman incorporates text into her work which she uses as anchors to ground the memories which she explores.

Selected Exhibitions

Fineman’s work has been exhibited internationally in The Netherlands, United States, Turkey, Finland and the UK, most recently at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018 at South London Gallery.

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