Daniel Crews-Chubb
— The Arts Club Dubai

Installation view: Daniel Crews-Chubb, The Arts Club, Dubai. Image: Ingrid Rasmussen.


Installation view: Daniel Crews-Chubb, The Arts Club, Dubai. Image: Ingrid Rasmussen.

In March 2023, a solo exhibition by acclaimed British artist Daniel Crews-Chubb (b.1984, based in London, UK) opened at The Arts Club Dubai. The striking display features a selection of totemic paintings illustrating the artist’s iconic figures.

Known for his expressive painting style, Crews-Chubb’s works conjure spectacular collisions between abstraction and figuration; painterly and sculptural; and materiality and mythological. His multimedia surfaces incorporate vividly coloured oils and acrylics that rub up against sand, charcoals, pastels, and textiles; patchworked together into raw and energetic compositions that elucidate the expressions and poses of his subjects. Crews-Chubb’s paintings, in his own words, are ‘a dance between order and chaos.’

Crews-Chubb’s oeuvre draws inspiration from personal experience and beacons of literary and cultural history. He is as fascinated by the parables of Greek mythology and key art historical movements, as he is with childhood memorabilia and the ancient artefacts gathered from all over the world. In The Arts Club Dubai’s show, his mosaic-like, statuesque Venus recalls the legend of the God Venus’s creation. According to myth, Venus was born – fully grown – from a pearl created as her father’s seed was spilled across the ocean. Crews-Chubb’s playful tension between the mythological and the corporeal, the celestial and the earthly, is also hinted at in his Immortal, Yeti Dance and Giant. All poignantly evoke human forms made grotesque and magnificent both in their stories and in the artist’s practice.

Crews-Chubb’s process involves constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing a painting’s surface, layering, stitching, collaging fabrics in an almost sculptural relief while applying pigments and other resurfacing textures. The arduous editorial progression creates a dynamic surface that invites the viewer to retrace each painting’s story in a map-like manner as though witnessing the work’s creation. Thus, he creates an experience in which his viewers journey into the painting’s subject to find human form made fantastic throughout time and immortalised by passed down stories. ‘Immortality is our most eternal desire,’ Crews-Chubb has said of his subjects. ‘It never goes away. To depict something in paint is to immortalise that subject, giving it a life beyond our own.’

Daniel Crews-Chubb’s paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world and have been acquired by public collections including: the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; The Long Museum, Shanghai; Saatchi Gallery, London; The Bunker Artspace and Beth Rudin de Woody Collections, Palm Beach and New York; ICA, Miami and Longlati Foundation, Shanghai and the Hall Art Foundation, New York. In July 2023, Crews-Chubb will open a two person show with Flora Yukhnovich at the renowned Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.