School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Paul Becker

Lecturer in Fine Art


My work exists in the interactions, opacities and crossovers between literature/fiction, film, painting (in its widest sense) and collaboration. Most recently a great deal of my work has been concerned, often obliquely with a kind of Ekphrasis i.e. artworks that describe or contain artworks.

In an ongoing work, The Kink in the Arc, begun earlier this year at M_HKA,  Antwerp, many of these ways of working and thinking come together via the idea of the novel as a generous, limitless, reflexive space. The novel is essentially collaborative/collective in that it utilises the descriptions of artworks by artists, writers, makers, curators etc. across all disciplines. These real descriptions are then sited within the context of the novel to form its fictional environment.

I am deeply engaged with writing as an art practice and the unfettered movement it can allow between and beyond disciplines and individual practices. Teaching is an integral part of my practice and an important part of what I see as my 'role' as an educator is to facilitate students in feeling that artworks do not always need to function in terms of understanding, and need not serve to generate cogent meaning. The work can contain, disseminate, propagate and generate opacity, mystery, speculation, criticality, unfamiliarity and failure, alongside curiosity, in the maker as well as the viewer.


Born 1967, Windsor UK.

Grimsby School of Art (1984-86)

Kingston Polytechnic (1986-89)

Slade School of Fine Art (1997-99)



Lecturer in Fine Art, Teesside University School of Arts & Media



2016 Written Dancing, BASIC MOUNTAIN, Edinburgh

2015 Paul Becker: New Paintings, Drop City, Newcastle

2013 The Cat, Carpeted, Le Salon, Brussels, curated by FormContent


2017 M_HKA, Antwerp, Belgium

2015 Hospitalfield Summer Residency, Arbroath Scotland

2014 & 2010 AIR Antwerpen Artists in Residence. Antwerp

2013 Writer in Residence, Experimentica Live Arts FestivalChapter Gallery, Cardiff

2011 Henry Moore Institute Research Fellowship 

PEN Writers Residency, Antwerp  



2017 Choreography, ARCADE, London

Choreography/Coreografia published by Juan de la Cosa, Mexico

2016 The Mean of Men, Resonance FM, live radio broadcast (with Adam Phillips)

2015 Continuous Material curated by Ellie Wright & Sam Watson, Drop City Newcastle

The Decorator & the Thief Curated by George Vasey NGCA, Sunderland

2014 Continue Without Losing Consciousness, Curated by Tony Swain, Rob Churm & Raydale Dower. DCA Dundee

AIR Traces: Austruweel, Antwerp. Curated by Alan Quiryens.

Cadavere Quotidiano(Co-editor with Francesco Pedraglio & Alex Cecchetti) A collection of artist's writings featuring: Tim Etchells, Ed Atkins, Katrina Palmer, Joanne Tatham, Fiona Jardine, Luke Williams, Melissa Gordon, Becky Beasley etc. Published by X-TRA, Los Angeles

My Life by Anton Lesseman, Henry Moore Institute, Essays on Sculpture No. 68. Edited by Lisa Le Feuvre

It's Moving From I to It. Published by FormContent, London

TARR: Fiction by Artists, Baltic, Newcastle. (with Simon Bill, Faye Green, Jennifer Higgie, Tom Morton & Audrey Reynolds)

Corridor Plateau, The Northern Charter, Newcastle & Autocentre, Berlin, curated by Markus Karstiess

The Nabokov Paper. Published by Information as Material. Edited by Kate Briggs & Lucrezia Russo.

2013 Flash 500published by Akerman Daly, London

Henry Moore Institute Lecture, Association of Art Historians, Leeds

Seigneur, accorde a l'esprit un credit a la production. CIRCUIT, Lausanne, curated by Axelle Stiefel

The Walser Cycle (with Tess Denman-Cleaver & Nadia Hebson) Baltic 39, Newcastle

In Conversation with Becky Beasley, Spring Rain, Leeds City Art Gallery

Floor/Ceiling/Window/Wall Space Release#12, CIRCA Projects, Newcastle upon Tyne

Frank! Francesco Pedraglio, Rowing Projects, London

2012 Le Salon, Brussels, curated by FormContent.

Slide Talk with Tess Denman-Cleaver, Tom Whittle & Arnaud Moinet, The Northern Charter, Newcastle  

He Complained That Nothing Interested Him Anymore and She Said Perhaps We Could Try Reacting To Silence in a More Interesting Way, (curated by Johannes Maier) Tete, Berlin

Sincerely, how am I talking? (with FormContent) Hollybush Gardens, London


2017 Choreography, ARCADE London (with Daniela Cascella, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Nadia Hebson, Jennifer Hodgson, Ghislaine Leung, Sophie Macpherson, Francesco Pedraglio, Natasha Soobramanien, Sam Watson & Eleanor Wright

2012 Apropos The Kissing of a Hand, Newcastle (with Becky Beasley, Catrin Huber, Sophie Macpherson, Jeremy Millar, Roman Signer, Billy Childish etc.)

Festival Robert Walser (with Catrin Huber, Tess Denman-Cleaver, Gabi Heller, Claire Webster-Saaremets) Various venues in Newcastle upon Tyne


Congregation 2016. 6:17 mins Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Johannes Maier

LA DEBACLE. 2014. 13mins. Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Francesco Pedraglio

We Are Sculptures in Reverse 2014, 8 mins.  Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Johannes Maier

I Am a Man of My Own Making, She Says. He Pauses. Now, Tie on the Rocket... 2013. 10mins

 Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Johannes Maier


Undergraduate Teaching

I co-ordinate the First Year (Stage 1 & II Studio Practice) and teach across all over years.

Postgraduate Teaching

I am the primary PhD Supervisor for
Cecilia Stenbom