Stephen Whatcott – Bold and Minimalist Compositions

Stephen Whatcott (b. 1983) is a self-taught artist from the Cotswolds, England. In his abstract, minimalist works, he explores themes such as solidity, texture and composition. He initially began his artistic journey with figurative drawings, but turned to abstract painting.

His harmonious and monochrome paintings are characterized by their simplicity and clear lines, with the emotional impact of the picture always in focus. They range from large, colossal walls of paint to more free-flowing expressive forms that inspire the viewer to reflect on the essence of form and color.

He often records his ideas in sketchbooks, but these serve only as a starting point for his final compositions. These are then created instinctively by applying several textured layers, with each layer reacting to the previous one and entering into a dialogue with it. Occasionally, visible brushstrokes and rough edges add additional depth and substance to the works.

Stephen Whatcott, Tomorrow Morning, 2023, acrylic on canvas 40 x 30cm © The Artist
Tomorrow Morning, 2023, acrylic on canvas 40 x 30cm © The Artist
Stephen Whatcott, Break, 2023, acrylic on canvas 30 x 20cm © The Artist
Break, 2023, acrylic on canvas 30 x 20cm © The Artist

The artist draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, whether it be spontaneous moments in everyday life, music or other areas. He finds the Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline, as well as the Minimalists from the 1960s, particularly inspiring.

In 2015, Whatcott won the painting category of the open art competition Secret Art Prize and was shortlisted for the Rise Art Prize in 2018. With his intuitive, expressive paintings, Stephen Whatcott creates bold and harmonious works that, despite their outward simplicity, evoke deep emotional resonance.

It’s all about making a connection. Every painting I produce aims to invoke an emotional response.

Stephen Whatcott in an interview with Caiger Art
Stephen Whatcott, Harmonics I, 2022, acrylic on canvas 60 x 50cm © The Artist
Harmonics I, 2022, acrylic on canvas 60 x 50cm © The Artist
Stephen Whatcott, Lorcán, 2021, acrylic on canvas 60 x 50cm © The Artist
Lorcán, 2021, acrylic on canvas 60 x 50cm © The Artist
Stephen Whatcott, The Poet, 2021, acrylic on canvas 60 x 50cm © The Artist
The Poet, 2021, acrylic on canvas 60 x 50cm © The Artist

Further Reading

Aesence is an independent art and design publication dedicated to minimalist aesthetics. Founded out of a deep appreciation and fascination, Aesence aims to promote awareness and appreciation of minimalism in art and design.