William Cobbing

B. 1974, London 

Lives and works in London

William Cobbing is an artist living and working in London. He studied BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins (1997), and De Ateliers in Amsterdam (2000). Cobbing has since completed a PhD Fine Art by Practice at Middlesex University (2010). He is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. He was awarded the Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellowship in 2005/6 at Ruskin School and British School at Rome. The resulting works were exhibited as ‘Gradiva Project’ at Freud Museum and Camden Arts Centre, with the embossed manhole covers remaining as permanent public artworks at these venues. Cobbing’s work has been reviewed in publications including Frieze, The Guardian, The Art Newspaper, Art Forum, Metropolis M and Flash Art. The ‘Gradiva Project’ book was shortlisted for The Art Book book of the year award 2008.

Solo exhibitions


Man in The Planet, Viafarini DOCVA, Milan

Reversals, Furini Arte Contemporanea, Rome


Thoughts from the bottom of a well, Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed

2007 - 2008 

Gradiva Project, Freud Museum and Camden Arts Centre, London  


William Cobbing, Netwerk Centre for Contemporary Art, Aalst, Belgium


Wall to Wall, TENT, Rotterdam


William Cobbing, The Pump Rooms Museum, Leamington Spa


William Cobbing, PercyMiller Gallery, London 


Escape Chutes, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam


Eating my Teeth, Galerie Fons Welters-Playstation, Amsterdam

Selected group exhibitions

2011 - 2012 

RAAK, SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium


Scope: New Photographic Practices, The Academy of Arts Centre, Tsinghua University, Beijing

Wake, Dilston Grove, London

Post Fossil, Design Museum Holon, Israel

Body Gestures, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel


So That I May Come Back, Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London

Visibility Good, Gallery North, University of Northumbria, Newcastle          

When Central Met St Martins, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins College, London

Post Fossil, 21_21 Design Sight, The Issey Miyake Foundation, Tokyo

TAPS, Matt’s Gallery at Dilston Grove, London


SuperStories / Triennial for Art, Design and Fashion , Z33, Hasselt, Belgium


L'Angelo Sigillato Museo delle Icone Russe, Peccioli, Italy

The Enigma of William Tell and Other Tales, The Agency, London


Drifting Clouds, Image Furini Arte Contemporanea, Arezzo, Italy

Medicine Now, Wellcome Trust, London

Dark Glasses, Standpoint, London

Cunning Chapters, British Library, London 


Let There be Light, Sotheby’s, London

Overlap 2, British School at Rome, Rome

Room With a View,Gemeentemuseum, The Hague


Over de Mensen en de Dingen, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium         

The Library of Babel, Courtauld Institute of Arts, London


A Secret History of Clay; From Gauguin to Gormley,  Tate Liverpool

The Book Show, The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere

Body-Con, Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT), Tokyo


The Book Show,The Nunnery, London 

Sidetrack, PercyMiller Gallery, London

Prospects Drawing Prize, Old Truman Brewery, London 


Early Works, De Ateliers, Amsterdam

Haunted House,Outline, Amsterdam


Hang Up, Galerie Fons Welters-Playstation, Amsterdam 


Mostyn Open 11, (joint winner), Llandudno, Wales

Partie 8, Internationales Künstforum Drewen, Germany

Selected screenings and performances


Mobile Home performance, More Soup and Tart, The Barbican Theatre, London


Excavation performance, Cabaret Melancholique, St Mark’s Church, London

Excavation performance, Man in The Planet, Viafarini DOCVA, Milan


Eating My Teeth performance, Art Basel VOLTA 5, Basel


Galerie Gradiva performance, Six of One, Camden Arts Centre, London

Driving and Demolition screening, Marta Herford, Germany


Selected videos, Video Performance Video, Mudima Foundation, Milan

Selected videos, Sports & Leisure, Pesaro Film Festival, Pesaro, Italy


Selected videos, Open Video Projects, The American Academy in Rome

Selected videos, Blueroom, Rialtosantambrogi, Rome


Excavation screening, Sunday Screenings, Milton Keynes Gallery

Selected publications

The Art of Not Making, ed. Michael Petry, Thames and Hudson, 2011, pp. 82-83

Visibility Good, (exh. cat.), texts by Helen Baker, Bob and Roberta Smith, Gallery North, Northumbria University, 2010, pp. 12-17

Gradiva Project, (solo exh. cat.), texts by Jon Bird, Rebecca Heald, Joanne Morra and Mignon Nixon, The Freud Museum & Camden Arts Centre, London, 2007

Foundation, (exh. cat.), texts by Stef van Bellingen, William Cobbing, Michel Dewilde and Emily Wardill, Ename Actueel, Belgium, 2007, pp. 16-20

43 Mostra Internazionale Del Nuovo Cinema, text by Giovanni Spagnoletti, Fondazione Pesaro Nuovo Cinema Onlus, Rome, 2007, p. 168

Annual 2006, (exh. cat.), text by Ronny Heiremans, Netwerk Centre for Contemporary Art, Aalst, Belgium, 2007

Room With a View, (exh. cat.),texts by Véronique Baar, Jenny Barendregt, Sharon Oldenkotte-Vrolijk, Bouwfonds, The Hague, 2006, p. 94

Pilgrimage, Nicky Coutts (ed.), ‘Pellegrinare’, William Cobbing and Stella Santacatterina interview.  Confluens Press, Middlesex University, London, 2006, pp. 65-87, 90-91.

Fine Art 2005-6 ,text by Jacopi Benci,  British School at Rome, Rome, 2006, pp. 14-17

William Cobbing, (solo exh. cat.), texts by Sue Hubbard and Nigel Prince, Art Gallery & Museum, Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa, 2004

A Secret History of Clay: from Gauguin to Gormley, (exh. cat.), Simon Groom (ed.), texts by Simon Groom and Edmund de Waal, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, p. 101

Moving Collection: Body-Con,(exh. cat.), text by Roger McDonald, Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT), Tokyo, 2003

The Book Show (exh. cat.), texts by Simon Morley and Tanya Peixoto, Utopia Press, London, 2003

Prix de Rome Beeldhouwen / Sculpture,(exh. cat.), texts by Ken Lum, Domeniek Ruyters, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, 2003, pp. 24-25. 

Early Works: De Ateliers 1998-2002, (exh. cat.), texts Dominic van den Boogerd, Marlene Dumas, Adrian Searle, De Ateliers, Amsterdam, 2003, pp. 31-33

Selected articles

Tagliafierro, Marco, Artforum, ‘William Cobbing: Viafarini DOCVA’, Jan 2011, p.238-9

Gullì, Damiano, Flash Art (Italian edition), ‘William Cobbing: Viafarini DOCVA’, Nov 2010, p.85

Buck, Louisa, The Art Newspaper (Art Basel Daily Edition), ‘Will gives good head’, 9 June 2009, p.11

Williamson, Beth, The Art Book, ‘William Cobbing: Gradiva Project’, Volume 15, Issue 3, Aug 2008. pp.23-24

Holman, Martin, Miser & Now ,‘It shouldn’t happen to a dream’, Issue 11, 2007, pp. 32-39

Metropolis M, (front cover image), Nr.5, Oct-Nov 2005

Depondt, Paul, de Volkskrant, ‘De Manifestie Super! Veel kromspraak en modieus discours’, 12 September 2005, p. 10

Schweitzer, Beatrijs, Beelden, ‘William Cobbing: zonder gelaat, gelaten èn gellaagd’ Issue 2/2005, p. 14

Spijkerman, Sandra, De Trouw , 'Kunstbeurs Art Rotterdam: jong, hip en internationaal', 24 Feb 2005

Lack, Jessica, The Guardian (The Guide), ‘William Cobbing: Leamington Spa’, 14 Feb 2004, p. 34

Lack, Jessica, The Guardian, ‘Picks of the week’, 9 Feb 2004

Dunn, Katy, Blueprint,‘Profile: A New Growth in Art’, May 2004, p. 39.

Buck, Louisa, The Art Newspaper, ‘William Cobbing: Percy Miller Gallery’, No.137, June 2003, p. 13

Mar, Alex, Frieze, ‘William Cobbing: Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam’, Issue 71 Nov/Dec 2002, pp. 101-102

Keijer, Kees, Het Parool  ‘Horror, gespeend van spanning en sensatie’, 6 July 2002

Schoonenboom, Merlijn, De Volkskrant, ‘Zwart gezwel uit autowiel’, 3 July 2002

Berrebi, Sophie, Frieze 100 (www.frieze.com) ‘William Cobbing: Eating my teeth, Galerie Fons Welters: Playstation’, Jan 2001

Saaze, Vivian van, Metropolis M, ‘William Cobbing: Ingrepen’, Nummer 6, Dec 2000-Jan 2001, pp. 51-52

Tannert, Christoph, Der Tagesspiegel, ‘Kunst abladen verboten’, 3 Sept 2000, p.5, pp. 10-11



Turquoise Mountain Foundation Kabul, Afghanistan


Turquoise Mountain Foundation Kabul, Afghanistan

2008 - 2009 

Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, Berwick-upon-Tweed


Artist Residency, Camden Arts Centre, London

2005 - 2006 

Helen Chadwick Fellowship, The British School at Rome, and Ruskin School, University of Oxford


Berlin Project Studio,Fonds BKVB, Berlin

2002 - 2003 

Artist in Residence, The Wellcome Trust, London

5 Kichik Qala Street, Icheri Sheher Baku

Azerbaijan, AZ 1000

+99412 505 23 23

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