Dr Neil Clements BA (Hons), MRes, PhD

Job Title:



School of Fine Art



Institutional Support (2019)
Museum Stanchions, Neon, Transformer, Rapid Prototyped ABS Components

Institutional Support (2019)


Dr Neil Clements

Dr Neil Clements can be a Co-Supervisor.
Research Keywords: Abstraction, 1960s Art, Northern Irish Art, Institutional Critique

Neil Clements is an artist and writer. His main area of interest is in formalist models of art making, and their relationship to broader cultural forces. In particular, he considers a discourse around abstraction in visual art as being porous to other societal developments, variously political, technological and historical.

The mapping of these relationships is a recurring theme in his artistic practice, which often draws attention to the gallery space as a theatrical and ideologically invested site of display. There abstract art, the content of which is often appropriated from historical examples, is presented as visually imprinted with other value systems. Recent work has taken the apophenic approach of the conspiracy theorist as a working methodology with which to construct alternative interpretations of an art historical canon.

Neil’s doctoral thesis, ‘The Ivory Tower and the Control Tower: Formalist Aesthetics and Cultural Affiliations in British Abstract Art, 1956-1968’ looked in detail at the phenomenon of Pop Abstraction. It considered the ways in which Transatlantic exchange, art school pedagogy and wider formations of technocratic rationalism each shaped the worldviews of 1960s British abstract artists.
Elsewhere, his research considers the role various kinds of labour play in contemporary artistic production. A specific focus has been on the changing connotations of institutional critique, and the proximity of conceptual art to other forms of managerial culture.