Selected works by Margot Sanders

Margot Sanders
In Fine Company


Acrylic on paper

230 x 450 cm (made up of three panels)

The apparent casualness of Margot Sanders’ painting In Fine Company belies the grandeur of her artistic influences.
Taking Courbet’s vast depiction of a mourning crowd, A Burial at Ornans, as well as Byzantine mosaics from Ravenna, as her starting points, Sanders’ work imbues the intimacy and informality of the painted sketch with the solemnity and classical formality of art of the past. Sanders’ conventional practice – a sitter, usually a friend or “possible crush” would sit in her bedroom with her while she painted them – gives her work its feeling of tender proximity; diverting from the domestic, In Fine Company presents a line-up of invented characters in an imagined school gym or ballet studio setting. That eye for the person seen at close hand is retained, though. Uncomfortable poses – hair being curled back over an ear, an awkward bunching of hands – gives the figures their sense of self-consciousness; these are characters that seem unwilling to be looked at, restlessly shifting their weight under the artist’s gaze. Sanders has said that another, less rarefied influence on this work is wedding photography, and that air of discomfort, of enforced jollity, is certainly captured here, but the airy and delicate palette suggests something more: the frail beauty of human bonds.

Text by Ben Street

Margot Sanders's Biography

Born in Born in 1986, London, UK
Lives and works in London, UK


East Wing IX:‚ÄėExhibitionism, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London

Paint, ROLLO Contemporary Art, London

Vienna/London, WUK Projektraum, Wien, Vienna
C4RD Moot: four days long, C4RD, London
Giddee Up! Arts Gallery, The Arts Gallery, University of the Arts, London
Rollo Emerge 1: The Seduction of Paint, ROLLO Contemporary Art, London

Degree Show, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London
Brenda Landon Pye Portrait Prize, Chelsea College, London
Chelsea Card Auction, Chelsea College, London

Third Year Exhibition, Group show from BA Fine Art students, Chelsea College, London
Animal, Red Gate Gallery, London
Music on the open water when the day is already becoming a memory, Red Gate Gallery, London
Ripeness, Flaxon Ptootch Gallery, London
The Flaxon Ptootch Group Show, Flaxon Ptootch Gallery, London
Token, Chelsea at Bethnal Green Old Town Hall, London

This Way Up, Temporary Contemporary Gallery, London
First Year BA Fine Art Degree, End of Year Show, London

Foundation End of Year Show, Chelsea College, London