Hilary Lawson (1954, Bristol)



Hilary Lawson is a British philosopher, film-maker, and founder of the Video Painting movement. In 2001, Hilary Lawson shot the first Video Paintings which initiated the Artscape Project. In 2006 he founded the Open Gallery and he is currently its CEO and Artistic Director. Lawson lives and works in London and Hay-on-Wye.


As a philosopher, he is most well known for his work ‘Closure’, which has been described as the first attempt to provide a post-modern metaphysics. One consequence of the theory is that art is reinterpreted as the attempt to avoid closure and approach openness. Hilary Lawson began his philosophical career at Oxford and is currently vice-chair of the Forum for European Philosophy.


As a film-maker he built a reputation for challenging and provocative documentaries which took on some of the orthodoxies of our times. His documentaries, mainly for Channel 4 but also for ITV and the BBC, have spanned philosophy, current affairs, art, and science and have won more than twenty awards.


Lawson’s artistic production through the media of Video Painting has been very prolific. His work is dominated by compelling skyscapes often capturing dramatic skies at sunset. As a result, the multiplicity of variegated colors shades and textures enriches the panoramas with different layers, conveying an impressionistic effect.



Major Exhibitions include Now Revisited, Shunt Vaults, London (2009), On the cusp, IAI, Hay (2009), Future Cities, Hayward Gallery London (2007), Video Painting, ICA, London (2005), Out of Openness, Sketch Gallery, London (2007),




"I am trying to find a way to escape narratives and explore the aesthetics of openness. The cusp of narrative closure and openness seems to me to offer the most exciting potential." Hilary Lawson



Click to view Lawson’s Openness and Air 2006

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