Benet Spencer

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Cambridge School of Art
Areas of Expertise:
Fine art
Research Supervision:

Benet Spencer is an artist, curator and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at ARU. He is Course Leader for our BA (Hons) Fine Art degree. His painting focuses on architecture, which is explored through both iconography and the language of pictorial representation.

[email protected]

Visit Benet's website


Born in 1969, Benet studied an undergraduate in Birmingham and then post grad at the Royal Academy Schools, graduating in 1995. He joined the teaching staff at ARU in 2008, having previously taught at Liverpool John Moores University, and London College of Fashion.

Benet is a London-based artist, with a studio in Tulse Hill. His artwork explores the relationship between painting and architecture, in relation to current debates around the role of painting within contemporary Fine Art practice. He works through a variety of processes, including digital imaging, collage, and paintings made with both oil and acrylic on canvas.

Research interests
  • Contemporary approaches to painting
  • The representation of utopia in both modernism and contemporary art
  • The history of 20th-century architecture
  • Colour theory
  • Architectonic languages of representation and the digital image
Areas of research supervision
  • Approaches to contemporary painting
  • PG Diploma in Painting, Royal Academy Schools, 1995
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art, Birmingham Polytechnic, 1991
  • Foundation in Art and Design, Herts College of Art and Design, St Albans, 1988
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Member, Design and Artists Copyright Society
  • Réseau Peinture (member of research network)
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • External Examiner in MRes Fine Art, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, 2019
  • External Examiner in BA Fine Art, Hull College of Art and Design, 2012-16
  • External Examiner in BA Fine Art, Harrogate College, 2012-16
Selected recent publications

2019 Collision Drive (project co-curated with Steven Rendall)

(i). 2019: Collision Drive 3 - RMIT Project Space, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Group exhibition, featuring: 8 artists from UK and Australia. Catalogue Published by: RMIT University, Melbourne; catalogue essay by Jack Willet.

(ii). 2019: Collision Drive 2 - Project Space Plus, University of Lincoln. Two-person exhibition with Steven Rendall.

(iii). 2019: Collision Drive 1 - Wimbledon Space, Wimbledon College of Art, UAL, London. Two-person exhibition with Steven Rendall. Catalogue Published by: Wimbledon Space, UAL. Foreword by Geraint Evans and essay by Phil King. ISBN: 978-1-9993085-3-7

2016 - 2020 Phase I: Painting, Drawing, Architecture. (developed as part of Réseau Peinture research network)

(i). 2020; Phase IV: Intersections – Art / Architecture - Stephen Laurence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London (co-curated with David Waterworth). Group exhibition, with catalogue and symposia, featuring: 23 artists and architects from the UK, France and Germany. Catalogue published by University of Greenwich. ISBN : 978-0-9573430-7-8

(ii). 2019: Phase III – le Modulor - HLM: Hors-les Murs-Marseille (co-curated with David Ryan). Group exhibition, featuring: 23 artists from UK and France. (collaboration with Katharina Schmidt and the ARC Modulor research group, École supérieure d'art & de design Marseille, Marseille)

(iii). 2018: Phase II - Imagining Architecture - institut supérieur des arts de Toulouse (co-curated with David Ryan). Group exhibition, featuring: 10 artists from UK and France, and 7 artists and architects from the architectural archive of isdaT, Toulouse.

(iv). 2016: Phase I - Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge (co-curated with David Ryan). Group exhibition, featuring: 17 artists from France, UK and USA.

2019: Fully Awake 4.6, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh. (presented with Andrew Bracey). Group exhibition, curated by Ian Hartshorne and Sean Kaye for the organisation Teaching Painting.

2018: 40 Celsius, ASC Gallery, West Croydon, London. Selected group exhibition

2014: The Opinion Makers, Londonewcastle Project Space, London. Group exhibition featuring London-based artist-curators.

2014: A Union of Voices, Horatio Junior, London. A group exhibition of artist’s books, curated by Tim Ellis

2014: (detail), Usher Gallery, Lincoln; Transition Gallery, London and H-Project Space, Bangkok. International touring group exhibition, curated by Andrew Bracey (catalogue).

2012-13: Forward Thinking, The Island Queen; London; touring to Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown, Scotland; Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum, Achtercairn, Gairloch, Scotland; Horatio Junior, London, 2013. Group exhibition curated by Tim Ellis

2012: Museums in the Incident, Monash Gallery, Melbourne, Australia. International group exhibition, curated by Steven Rendall (catalogue)
2012: The Perfect Nude, Wimbledon School of Art Gallery, London; Pheonix Gallery, Exeter; Charlie Smith Gallery, London. Touring group exhibition curated by Phillip Allen and Dan Coombes

2011: The Thing is the Thing, ASC Gallery, London. Group exhibition curated by Benet Spencer (catalogue)

2009: Reconstructing the Old House, Nunnery Gallery, London and Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge. Touring group exhibition curated by Benet Spencer. Funded by Arts Council England (catalogue).

2009: Saxon, Schwartz Gallery, London. Group exhibition curated by Juan Bolivar

2006: Fantasy Island, Metropole Galleries, Folkestone. Group exhibition curated by Benet Spencer

Recent presentations and conferences

2020: Phase IV: Intersections – Art / Architecture, University of Greenwich, London. Symposium presentation: ‘Phase I: Painting, Drawing, Architecture (2016 – 2020)’