Jonathan Allen [b.1966, UK]

Jonathan Allen is a London-based artist, writer and educator whose work has featured in many exhibitions and publications in the UK and internationally since the early 1990s. Allen is an Associate Fellow at the Warburg Institute, and a curator at The Magic Circle Museum, London.


2013–17 PhD (practice-based), Fine Art, Kingston Unv. London
1988-89 MA Fine Art, Chelsea School of Art, London
1985-88 BA Fine Art, Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham

Solo Exhibitions

2016 Casting for the voice of Strength Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston, London >
Twenty-First-Century Silks, Ryan Lee Gallery, New York>
2007-8 Kalanag David Risley Gallery, London, UK >
2006 Tommy Angel David Risley Gallery, London, UK
1998 Feint Deutsche Bank Lobby Gallery, New York, USA
1998 Second Truths Site Gallery Sheffield, UK
1997 The Float in the Sight of Things, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, UK
1993 Hot Air Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK
1991 Landscapes of Risk Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions

Illusions Are Real, Manif d'Art 10 – Quebec City Biennial, Canada

Placement does not explain, but cultivates a September garden, (WAP), Public Knowledge Program, Camden Art Centre London
The Collector's Room, JGM Gallery, London

the HOLD (WAP), Stanley Picker Gallery, London
1d for Abroad,
Tintype, London
Drawing 2019,
The Drawing Room, London

Vetllada(after Joan Brossa), Queen Mary's Univ. London, UK
We Are Publication, at 21, Focal Point Gallery Southend, UK>
We Are Publication (WAP), London Art Book Fair, Whitechapel Gallery UK >
We Are Publication, 'Notes on a Carpet', Five Years, London,UK >

VIII Bienal de Jafre
ARTEFACT: The Act of Magic
, STUK, Leuven, Belgium
Drawing 2017, The Drawing Room, London


Explode Every Day MASS MoCA, Massachessetts, USA >

Drawing 2015, The Drawing Room, London >
London, Diagram of an hour, We Are Publication, broadcast on Resonance FM >

We are publication (WAP),studio session, ICA, London
We are publication film screening, Stanley Picker Gallery

The Fresh Air Collection, SPACE, London
The Great Bamboozle
, Camden Art Centre, fundraiser
/seconds issue 13, >
Drawing 2013, The Drawing Room, London >

Adventureland Golf, Gynasium Gallery, Berwick; Arnolfini Bristol; Quad, Derby.

Accidental Purpose
Quad, Derby
Adventureland Golf, Nova Arts Festival, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool
The Ancient Order of Illusion, Banner Repeater, London

The Anti-Library
Space Studios, London, curated by Paul Pieroni
A Future Pump House, Pump House Gallery, London
Outrageous Fortune Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition, FocalPoint Gallery, curated by Andrew Hunt
Drawing 2011, The Drawing Room, London

Magic Show
- Hayward Touring Exhibition [various UK venues] artist and co-curator
Party - group exhibition, New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall
The Big Rip-Off Camden Art Centre, London [curated by Sally O’Reilly]

with Sirene Opern Theater, curated by Brigitte Felderer , Vienna, Austria
Shortness - A very short conference and a very long dinner, Tate Modern Symposia
Drawing 2009, The Drawing Room, London

The Great Transformation - Art & Tactical Magic, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany, & MARCO, Spain
The Director’s Apartment British School at Rome

Bobby Reader
performance for Implicasphere, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK
Citadel FrontRoom: Killing Room, David Risley Gallery, UK
Harry Smith Anthology Remixed Alt Gallery, Newcastle, UK
Dictionary of War, Sophiensaele, Berlin, Germany
/seconds issue 4,
Drawing 2007 The Drawing Room, London

1st Singapore Biennale
exhibition and performance, Singapore
Scarecrow Averoff-Evangelos Museum, Metsova, Greece
Tommy Angel performance, for ‘Keep the Faith’, Tate Britain, London, UK
Smoke and Mirrors macarts & VIVID, Birmingham, UK
Circus group exhibition, Three Colts Gallery, London, UK
Archive in the Making International Festival, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven
Objects in Waiting group exhibition, End Gallery Sheffield

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
So You’re Afraid Of What? Centrefold, Redux Gallery, London, UK
Tommy Angel performance, for Alias Encounters, Woodchester Mansion, Gloucs.
Tommy Angel performance for Duckie, Vauxhall Tavern, London

David Risley Gallery, group exhibition, London, UK
Mesmer group exhibition, temporarycontemporary, London, UK
Tommy Angel performance [in assoc with Hayward Gallery for ‘Eyes, Lies, & Illusions’] London, UK

Con Art
Site Gallery, Sheffield, Glynn Vivian Gallery, UK
A Night of Performance Magic Lantern Theatre, Sheffield, UK

Quirk Serge Sorokko Gallery New York, USA
Art!Magic! Deutsche Bank Lobby Gallery, New York, USA >

Inside/Outside, Nottinghham Castle Museum

Selected Writing

2022 The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare, Burlington Contemporary>
2022 What the Spectators See, The Brooklyn Rail>

2022 Crise de Foi for Illusions Are Real, Manif d'Art 10 - Quebec City Biennial, Canada >
2016 The Mansion House Tavern of Crossed Destinies
Cabinet issue 49: The North >
2016 Lost Envoy Strange Attractor Press >
2014 Sincere deceivers Truth is Concrete, steirischerherbst
2013 Where No Trickery Abounds Cabinet issue 49: DEATH
2013 All Done For Kindness commissioned text for The Magic of the State, Lisson Gallery London & Beirut Gallery, Cairo
2013 Animalisms File Note #77[Serena Korda]Camden Art Centre
Jubrique ♥ Cabinet
Cabinet issue 48: TREES

2013 Song of the Open Road at 132 centimeters Aarchitecture issue 18, Architectural Association.
2013 Strategic Arborealism Cabinet issue 48: TREES
2012 Curiosity & Method:Ten Years of Cabinet contributor >
2012 23 Components for a Book RCA London contributor >

2012 Pitufo Blues Cabinet Magazine NY issue 45: 24 HOURS
2011 Fishli & Weiss, Microtate Tate Etc magazine
2010 Pop Art Cabinet Magazine NY, issue 38: BUBBLES
2009 From Bosch to Blackpool catalogue essay, Magic Show, Hayward Gallery Touring show [co-curator]
2009 Mark of Integrity Cabinet issue 33: DECEPTION
2009 Knight's Move, issue 3, 'Spleen', contributor

2008 MADE UP Liverpool Biennial International 08 exhibition, catalogue essay
2008 The Great Transformation - Art & Tactical Magic Franfurter Kunstverein, Germany, catalogue essay
2007 Deceptionists at War Cabinet issue 26: MAGIC [guest-editor]
Look Stupid Festival Steirischer Herbst catalogue, Graz, Austria
Dictionary of War [Worterbuch des Krieges], Merve Verlag Berlin (2008)
2006 Sleight of Light Cabinet issue 24: SHADOWS
2004 Gospel Magic Contemporary Magazine, October issue 68
1998 The Bristol Art Library Annabel Other, catalogue essay
1993 Artefacts of Time Andrew Sneddon, catalogue essay

Curatorial | Editorial

2016 Lost Envoy book launch, Camden Arts Centre
2009/10 Magic Show - Hayward Touring Exhibition [five UK venues] co-curator with Sally O’Reilly
2007 Cabinet magazine, NY issue 26: MAGIC, guest-editor
2008-present Associate curator, Magic Circle Museum, London
2002 Con Art Site Gallery, Sheffield & Glyn Vivian, Swansea, project initiator and curatorial contributor

Residencies and Awards

2007-8 Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellowship at Oxford University and the British School at Rome
2004/5/6 Arts Council England Individual Artists Award
2004 Artsadmin Research Bursary
1999-09 Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust Grant
1998 Photo98 Year of Photography & Electronic Image Award
1995 Elephant Trust Award
1991-93 Henry Moore Fellowship