Matthew Cornford is an artist and educator. He began working with David Cross after graduating from the RCA in 1991, for over 20-years Cornford & Cross created a wide range of art projects in response to specific contexts and situations. Their work and projects have been exhibited in Europe, North America and at galleries in the UK including Camden Arts Centre, ICA, John Hansard Gallery, Photographers Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. A monograph on their work, Cornford & Cross, including an essay by John Roberts was published in 2009.
Cornford’s recent work reflects an realisation that both his art production and teaching are inseparable. His experimental approach to education and his knowledge of art school history informs conceptual artworks which range from large scale site specific artworks to risk assessments, from photography to painting.
For a number of years Matthew Cornford has worked with Professor John Beck (University of Westminster) researching the cultural history of British art schools, including an ongoing topographic survey of former British art school buildings. Since 2009, they have given numerous talks at galleries and universities, including ‘Excavating the British Art School’, Utopics in Art and Architecture, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2010 and ‘The Lost World of the Provincial British Art School’ at Tate Britain’s 2011, Reflections on the Art School conference. The Journal of Visual Culture published their article ‘The Art School in Ruins’ in 2012 and an artists’ book, The Art School and the Culture Shed, was published in 2014. Their exhibition ‘The Art Schools of North West England’ at the Bluecoat, Liverpool is the first occasion their photographs and texts will have been exhibited in a public gallery.