Scholarly biography and interests
Working in collaboration with David Cross, Matthew Cornford has gained national and international recognition as an artist. Together Cornford & Cross investigate art's ability to test concepts, boundaries and definitions in an open society. Their work engages with the spatial, social and historical contexts of specific sites, forming a critical interaction with the people and organizations that occupy them.
Cornford & Cross have carried out an Arts Council residency at the London School of Economics, and a British Council residency at Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou, China. In addition to a number of site-specific projects in England, their work has been exhibited in Bologna, Brugge, Pancevo (Serbia) Rome, and Stockholm; in the USA in San Fransisco, Philadelphia and New York; in London at Camden Arts Centre, the ICA, Photographers' Gallery and South London Gallery.
Cornford & Cross have recently completed a solo-touring exhibition and book that draws upon works produced over the last 15 years. The exhibition originated at Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland (2005-06), and travelled to Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth (2007), and the recently opened Exchange Gallery, Penzance (2007). As the culmination of this touring exhibition Black Dog London, have published a 192-page book Cornford & Cross (2009), which includes artists’ texts, photographs and critical essays by John Roberts and Rachel Withers. For more information on Cornford & Cross: www.cornfordandcross.com.
Cornford’s concern with context and post-studio practice has led him to research the art practices of a number of artists associated with Land Art. Since 2002, He has visited and photographing a number of major land art works in North America and Europe. These include Agnes Denes’s Tree Mountain, Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and Broken Jetty/Spiral Hill; Michael Heizer’s Double Negative; Walter de Maria’a Lightning Field; Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels and Up and Under; Robert Morris’s Observatory and Constantin Brâncusi’s Endless Column.
Matthew Cornford met met David Cross whilst studying at St Martin’s School of Art, London in 1986. After graduating they each completed an MA at the Royal College of Art. Since then they have created a body of work that responds to the problems that arise out of particular contexts or situations. Accordingly, each of their projects has been radically different, not only in form but in content.
His teaching experience encompasses the development and delivery of both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, in addition to PhD supervision. He has experience in successfully bidding for external funding (AHRC, ACE), managing Fine Art research staff, and he participated in the 1996, 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). He was awarded a professorship from the University of Wolverhampton in 2006, and joined the University of Brighton as Professor of Fine Art in April 2009.
Matthew Cornford has given numerous talks and lectures about his work, in galleries and educational institutions across the country including the Arnolfini, V&A, Whitechapel, Bartlett School of Architecture and The Royal College of Art. He has been an external examiner to undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Central St Martins College of Art & Design, Leeds College of Art & Design and the Byam Shaw School of Art, London.