Jordan McKenzie

British, b.1967

Multiple paintings are worked on at the same time, created at a greedy pace and with urgency in order to negotiate my way through a world that I feel alienated from and often broken hearted by. There is an insistence here, that the work is read beyond a repetitive visual language, the authorial signature of established themes and coherent recognisable styles. Enquiry moves upwards, downwards, through, with and against the works that are produced, conclusions left open, ideas hastily explored and then moved on from, eddies of interest that eventually peter out and shoot off in new directions. It’s in the act of painting itself, which I see as a performative process, where the disparate areas of my practice unite, these material methodologies binding meanings together.


Jordan McKenzie is a painter, performance maker and academic based in London. Making, for Jordan, is never a place of clarity or distillation but a squishing together of disparate elements; queerness, class, found junk, glitter, words, politics, poetry and rage. It’s this fizzy alchemy that he looks for in his paintings and performances, and this can as easily come from picking through rubbish and day dreaming as it can thinking about capitalism or critical theory. Research interests include queerness and identity, presentations of class in contemporary Britain, painting as a performative process and materiality. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally in galleries, festivals and arts centers, including D Contemporary, London (2022) Freud Museum (2018); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2014); KASA Gallery, Istanbul (2014); Arnolfini Gallery (2011); Courtauld Institute (2011). His curatorial projects include LUPA (Lock Up Performance Art) a performance space run from a disused garage on the council estate where he lives in East London (2011-13); Look At The (E)state We’re In, a major international conference about art and the council estate (2014); Live(E)lseWhere (co-curated with The Drawing Shed 2014). He has received major arts bursaries and awards from Arts Council England, Arts Admin and The Live Art Development Agency and been an artist in residence in numerous countries including PADA, Lisbon, Portugal 2020, I-Park Massachusetts, USA (2012), OVADA Gallery, Oxford (2005) and Sutra Arts, Nepal (2004). He is currently a lecturer in Fine Art The University for the Arts, London.

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