Clare Woods


Clare Woods, who graduated from the Goldsmiths’ College in 1999 and originally trained as a sculptor, is today one of Britain’s most idiosyncratic contemporary painters.


Her distinctive paintings, which are rooted in the English landscape tradition, over time, have expanded into a wide visual language that includes still life, interiors or portraits and figures.


The paintings are based on photographs that are sometimes from the artist’s own collection and at other times grounded in imagery from newspapers and magazines. The original photographs are cropped and edited by drawing through the forms to remove elements of them, so that they begin to sit on the edge of legibility and figuration. Woods conceptually empties the source image to replace it with a new interpretation, often symbolically charged, during the act of painting. This physical breakdown of the image, which forces a slowing down and falling apart of the visual, entices the viewer to question their ability to decipher the content of what is in front of them, and to question what it means to live in a time of the mass consumption of imagery in a world that treats banality and disaster in the same way.


Although Clare Wood’s work cannot exist without photography, it is not the origin of the image that is important to her; she is concerned with the emotional response the imagery triggers within her and its potential for reinterpretation or translation, as she is always preoccupied with the human environment and her personal desire for certainty.


In the artist’s unique painting style, with finger-wide, tangled brush strokes that create a peculiar three-dimensionality, lies a connection to sculpture. It seems as if Clare Woods is sculpting the image in paint.


Clare Woods’ work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire, the Southampton City Art Gallery, Chisenhale Gallery in London, the Mead Gallery in Coventry and the Serlachius Museum in Finland, among others.


The artist has also executed several permanent public art commissions, including for Carpenter’s Curve at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London (2010–12), the VIA University College in Aarhus, Denmark (2014) and at River Bend in Dallas, Texas (2019).

Works in public collections include those at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York; ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark; the Dakis Joannou Collection Foundation in Athens; the Hobart Museum in Tehran; and The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.


Clare Woods was born in 1972. She lives and works in Hereford, UK. The Buchmann Galerie has represented Clare Woods since 2008.

‘Clare Woods, photo:  studio Clare Woods’
Clare Woods, photo: studio Clare Woods

Selected Works

Clare Woods, ‘No Feeling’, 2024, Oil on aluminium
No Feeling, 2024
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, ‘Garden Without Seasons’, 2023, Oil on aluminium
Garden Without Seasons, 2023
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, ‘Bright Future’, 2024, Oil on aluminium
Bright Future, 2024
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, ‘Vagus Nerve’, 2022, Oil on aluminium
Vagus Nerve, 2022
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, ‘Soft Peaks’, 2023, Oil on aluminium
Soft Peaks, 2023
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, ‘New Problems 8’, 2020, Oil on aluminium
New Problems 8, 2020
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, installation view Between Before and After at the Serlachius Museum, Finland
Between Before and After, 2022
Installation view
Serlachius Museum, Finland
Clare Woods, ‘What Lies Tangled’, 2022, Oil on aluminium
What Lies Tangled, 2022
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, ‘The World is on Fire’, 2020, Oil on aluminium
The World is on Fire, 2020
Oil on aluminium
Clare Woods, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2020
Installation view
Buchmann Galerie, 2020
Clare Woods, ‘I Had Some Time Alone’, 2020, Oil on aluminium
I Had Some Time Alone, 2020
Oil on aluminium


Gallery Exhibitions


Clare Woods

Born 1972, lives and works in Hereford, UK

1997 - 99 MA, Goldsmith’s College, London
1991 - 94 BA, Bath College of Art, Bath
Grants and Awards
2022 Elected to Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK


Solo Exhibitions


Group Exhibitions

Selected Collections

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj
Arts Council Collection, London
British Airways Art Collection, London
CCA Andratx, Mallorca
Colección VAC (Valencia Arte Contemporáneo), Valencia
Government Art Collection, London
Harewood House, Leeds
Honart Museum, Tehran
Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
Mead Gallery, Warwick University, Warwick
NationalCollection of Wales, Cardiff
Nuffield College Collection, Oxford
Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton
The British Council Collection, London
The Dakis Joannou Collection Foundation, Athens
The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield
The Hiscox Collection, London
The Hive, Worcester
The National Museum, Cardiff
The Ophiuchus Collection, Geneva
Tulle House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle
VIA University, Aarhus

Selected Publications
2022 Clare Woods: Between Before and After, Serlachius Museum Gösta, Mättä, Finland (

Reality Dimmed, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Center, UK (

H. Juddah: Clare Woods, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK, Frieze, April


Victim of Geography, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, UK (


The Romantic Thread in British Art, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, UK ( 

A. Marr, J.Higgie, M.Bracewell, R. Daniels, S. Martin, Clare Woods Strange Meetings, Art Books Publishing, London, UK 


Imagining A University, Fifty Years of The University of Warwick Art Collection, Warwick University, Warwick, England ( 


A Tree A Rock A Cloud, Clare Woods (The National Collection Of Wales, Oriel Davies, Wales)

Brask Collection at Munkeruphus (Munkeruphus Art Museum, Gilleleje, Denmark)

Under the Greenwood, Picturing the British Tree from Constable to Kurt Jackson (St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery, Lymington, UK) 


Bracewell, Michael & Stephens, Chris: The Unquiet Head, Hepworth Wakefield, (
Hastings, Sheena: A larger landscape...and a epic sense of place, Yorkshire Post Interview, 21.11.11 p.3
Farkas, Rebecca: The Unquiet Head, A-N Magazine Review, p.34
Osborne, Sarah: Spirits of the Landscape, A story for children inspired by the paintings of Clare Woods.
Clare Woods on Graham Sutherland’s Black Landscape (1939-1940), Tate Etc, Issue 23, Autumn


Nash, Paul: The Elements, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, essay by Simon Grant (illustrated in colour, p. 41)


The Dark Monarch, Magic and Modernity in British Art, Tate St Ives (

Bracewell, Michael: Something Supernatural, This Way Comes, Tate etc., Autumn, pp.62-67

Dillion, Brian: Disc World, Guardian Review, 24 October, p.18


Superstratum, Koraalbery Gallery, Antwerp, Belguim (

Hussey, Lauren. Interview: For Display Purposes, October, p.13
Geldard, Rebecca. Clare Woods, Modern Painters, November, p.100

2007 Colección VAC (Valencia Arte Contemporáneo), Catalogue of works, Valencia
2006 New Art from London, Chris Townsend, Thames and Hudson  
ESENCIAS 11, exhibition catalogue, Coleccion Ernesto Verntos, Arte 
 Deaf Man’s House, text by Barry Schwabsky, Koenig Books, London
Review. Wright, Karen. Modern Painters, February 2006
Review. Neo 2, February, 2006
Chisenhale Gallery, London (

Extreme Abstraction, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, (

Make 2', Ken Shuttleworth

Herbert, Martin. Feature. Ambient Landscapes, Tate etc, Summer 2005


Monument to Now, Deste Foundation of Contemporary Art, (

Printed Project, letters from five continents, Saskia Bos & Rob Tufnell 

Forest, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, ( 

Failed Back, Modern Art, London (
Stay Positive, Marella Arte Cantemporanea, (

New British Painting, John Hansard Gallery, (  

Herbert, Martin. Review. In: Time Out, London, March 17-24, pg 47

2003 40 Views of and Icon, Comme des Garcons
2002 Painting as a Foreign Language, Edificio Cultura Inglesa (

Hill, Joe. Review. ‘New York: Cohan, Leslie & Browne’, in: Contemporary, December 2002
Smith, Roberta. “Review Clare Woods”, in: The New York Times, Oct. 25, pg 37

The Hydra Workshop, Hydra Greece, ( 

Tail Sliding, The British Council, ( 

London Underground, Sungkok Art Museum, Korea, (

Beck’s Futures, ICA, London, ( 
Bolton, Will, “Clare Woods”, What’s On, January 2001 
McFarland, Dale, Review, in: Frieze, issue 58
Ratnam, Niru. Review. “Painting is Dead, Long Live Painting”, The Face, April
“Masters at Work”, Review. In: I-D Magazine - The Aesthetic Issue,

2000 British Art Paintings II, exhibition catalogue, Diehl Vorderwuelbecke, Berlin 
The Art Newspaper, Review. no 108, November
Review. ‘Art, Clare Woods’, in: Evening Standard, 26th October
Allfree, Claire. Review. ‘Art, Clare Woods’, in: Metro Life, Metro, October 27th
Gleadell, Colin. Review. ‘The Power of Paint’, in: Telegraph
 Magazine, p.37, September 16
Review. ‘And if There Were No Stories’, in: Evening Standard, March 8th
Review. ‘Cluster Bomb at Morrison Judd’, in: Flash Art, Jan/Feb