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Alice Butler writes that 'in Vanessa Mitter’s paintings, the personal is treated as a pliant material, a source of affect and investigation, but also of fiction and performance. Collage, paint and pigment find a way on to the canvas in ephemeral expressive gestures. There is an abject narrative at play – of lost childhood and drifting brides – but it is a narrative that wanders in and around the artifice of the material.'


Her paintings are both exuberantly high-octane in terms of colour, but mordant in terms of their conceptual approach. Endless layers of patterning, collage and gaudy colouring are deliberately extreme, to the point where the paintings, when viewed in the flesh, are almost too vivid, too excessive.


In her practice, Vanessa Mitter is also informed by Julia Kristeva's writing(s) concerning the abject in relation to ideas of the feminine. 'We may call it a border; abjection is above all ambiguity. Because, while releasing a hold, it does not radically cut off the subject from what threatens it - on the contrary, abjection acknowledges it to be in perpetual danger.' (Kristeva, Powers of Horror). In her paintings, there is a sense of threat; of beauty and innocence on the edge of collapse.


Vanessa Mitter makes performances which explore confrontation, antagonism and ritual. These performances also reflect on the history of action painting and performance art. They are visceral and physically challenging. In all of her practice, she is interested in the performative and the gestural and in how these elements relate to liminal space and ritual. She seeks to destabilize the audience, forcing them to question their surroundings and their accepted modes of thinking and behaving. She asks questions about gender (taking on male and ambiguous alter egos), history (the personas are sometimes from another time/era), the relationship between the viewer and the viewed or the performer and those who bear witness.



Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2008-2010


Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art, 2009

MA Fine Art, 2010

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design                                               


BA Honours Degree in Fine Art

Kingston University, Surrey                                                                               


Btec Foundation in Art and Design

Selected Exhibitions

Upcoming: 2023

What This Awl Means, Kunstlerhaus, Bregenz, Austria, fully funded                                         

Dog Show, Thames-Side Studios Gallery

This Year's Model, Studio 1.1 Gallery



The Smoke,Terrace Gallery, London                                            

More Heed, The Magic Garden, London          

This Year's Model Part 1, Studio 1.1, London

Art on a Postcard - International Women's Day, London



This Year's Model Part II, Studio 1.1, London

Art on a Postcard Auction for International Women's Day, London


Art on a Postcard Charity Auction + Exhibition, London

Objects of Desire, ASC Gallery, London

GIFC and Velvet Ropes, House of Vans, London

Creekside Open, APT Gallery and Studios, London

Mother Art Prize, Mimosa House, London



Rules of Freedom, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London                                                  

Athina Art Fair, Athens, through Zero Zero Gallery, Los Angeles

Ornamental Neon, ASC Gallery, London

Velvet Ropes, Furniture by Artists, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen

Lore of the Land, Churchgate Gallery, Somerset. Curator: David Harrison

You Are Here, Stockport War Memorial Museum

Frivolous Convulsions, Turf Projects, London. Arts Council funded. Curators: Vanessa Mitter and Ben Westley Clarke 



I Am A Beautiful Monster (two person show), Arthouse1 Gallery, London               

The Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize, Piano Nobile Gallery, London


Unquiet Brides (solo exhibition), Unit G Gallery, London  

What You See, K Projects, Berlin




And The Dark And The Dark, A-Side B-Side Gallery, London

Strange AttractionA.P.T Gallery, London




Hackney Wicked Art Festival (Arts Council funded), Bridget Riley House, Space, London 

Beuys Keep Swinging, Landing Space, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London                                              

The Painting GameK Projects, Berlin                                                  




The True, The Beautiful, The GoodSymposium, The Museum of Ethnography, Belgrade, Serbia                         

Hot-One-Hundred, Schwartz Gallery, London                                                    




Collective (Frieze Week Exhibition), The Bear Pit, London (through Carter Presents)                         

FAD Office, Performance, The Other Art Fair, Ambika P3, London                                                               

FAD, If Only You Could See What I've Seen with Your Eyes, Performance, The Other Art Fair, Ambika P3, London                                       




Forza Nuova,                                                                                                                                                                  

Space 4828, Venice curated by Nicola Ruben Montini

Trajector Art Fair, Brussels, through Carter Presents Gallery, London                                  

de Kooning, de Kooning, de Kooning, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, curated by Dexter Dalwood                                                                                  I Am Not Here To Entertain You, Field Project Space, London                                                                           




Then I Remembered, Carter Presents Gallery, London                                              

Showroom, Man Can Not Live by Bread Alone, London                                                              

Enjoy Democracy Responsibly, Forman's Smokehouse Gallery, London                             

Dillmann Kunstmarkt, Art Fair, Stuttgart, Germany                                              

Performance, The Surreal House, Barbican Art Gallery, London                                                          

Performance, Flat-Time House, London                                                             

CondensationHanbury Hall, Spitalfields, London                                                         

Und wieder lockt das WeibGalerie Deck, Stuttgart, Germany                                                                                       

Scapegoat SocietyPerformance, Guest Projects, London                                                 

Your Higher Plane Awaits, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London                                      

Going Postal, Institute of Contemporary Art, London                                                         




Police and ViolencePerformance, The Sassoon Gallery, London                                                

Invisible Means of Support, Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London                                     

Salon Series, Auto-Italia Project Space, London                                                           

One Night Stand, The Gallery, Wimbledon College of Art, London                                                    





Goon Island, Take Courage Gallery, New Cross, London                                                           




Life Was Never Meant To Be This Way, Casal de Cultura Museum,Mallorca, Spain                  

(solo exhibition)                                                                                






Frivolous Convulsions, Arts Council funded, Turf Projects, London



The Dandyism of Contempt ,Camden Space Unlimited, London, NW1 Field Project                                

I Am Not Here To Entertain You, Space, London                                     


Prizes and Awards

Shortlisted - The Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2017

Joint winner - Hackney Wicked Art Prize, 2015

Longtlisted for 100 Painters of Tomorrow, Beers Lambert Gallery, 2013

Shortlisted for The Red Mansion Foundation Art Prize, 2011

Shortlisted for the GAM Gilbert de Botton Art Prize, 2010




Vanessa Mitter's work is held in private collections in Europe and America.




Selected Publications


Ornamental Neon at ASC Gallery, Alex Michon reviews 'a performance of the feminine' painting show by imagining that the artists are all members of a girl band, Garageland blog/magazine, Transition Gallery, London

Frivolous Convulsions, Paul Carey-Kent, Catalogue, Arts Council funded in the British Library

Cadaverous in Croydon (review of Friviolous Convulsions), FAD magazine

Death Animated: Frivolous Convulsions, Tom Carrao

Lore of the Land, Catalogue

You Are Here, Catalogue


I Am A Beautiful Monster, Review by Tom Carrao


Unquiet Brides, Catalogue essay by Alice Butler (Frieze Writer's Prize Winner, 2012)


Strange Attraction, Catalogue essay by Alice Butler



Posi+tive Magazine, Interview and feature by Nicola Ruben Montini


FAD Art, Review of performance                                                                      




Frieze Magazine, April edition, review of de Kooning……                                                                                                                

Politiken, DenmarkReview of de Kooning, de Kooning, de Kooning by Trine Ross, 6th February 2011

Kunste.NU, Denmark, Review of de Kooning, de Kooning, de Kooning

Kunstkrittik, Denmark, Expressionismen i dag by Av Maria Kjaer Themsen                                               

Kunst & Kultur, Denmark, Her er Universet by Michael Jeppesen                                          




Deck, Kunstmarkt issue, Feature under Watchlist, pgs 30/31

Sonnendeck art magazine                                        



Sonnendeck art magazineFeature                                        



Life Was Never Meant To Be This Way, Catalogue for solo exhibition, Mallorca      






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