Profile Statement

E.A Byrne’s work originates from an interest in how art world language and subjectivity creates cultural and monetary value. Much of Byrne’s work centres on an ever-growing collection of art phrases, which are excerpts of language collected from art reviews, talks or overheard conversations about art. Just a few examples from this extensive collection include:

“Combining the nerve of an activist with the wit of an artist”

“This is a great opening - like facing a lone gunman”

“Critical resistance is futile”

“You move through the space expecting to be cut in half by the death-ray”

“Bobs up and down cheerfully in the gallery”

Byrne reconceptualises these art phrases by attempting to assign a value term such as colour, length, rank or weight, with the aim to playfully highlight the inability to place an absolute value on the subjective, like the interpretation of an artwork. Finding interest through this incongruity and simply seeing what might happen when two opposites collide creates a constant sense of experimentation.

Art Review Graphs attempt to determine the objective value of the subjectivity found within art phrases collected from specific art reviews. Each graph becomes an interpretation of an individual art review, turning the review and the reviewer back into a work of art themselves, where authoritative views on art are re-examined using seemingly authoritative methods of deduction.

Art Phrase Colour Charts go further to decontextualise the source of the art phrase where art phrases from different sources and multiple people are all displayed together against a background of numerous colours, shades and hues. The artist's appropriation of a phrase to a colour suggests a system is at play to quantify the underlying meaning or subjectivity within the phrase through colour. Byrne's various processes within this body of work endeavours to classify subjectivity, measure meaning and subvert recognisable systems through a process of pseudo-scientific and playful investigations.

Byrne continues to investigate the relationship between subjectivity and value, using language as a means of negotiating this process. Whilst at the same time with an underlying playful humour and subversion that is not instantly seen but on closer engagement is often revealed.

Other works such as Tesco Value vs Finest Chess combines games and social status, encompassing a curiosity for reconciliation between opposing ideals, tastes and values. As well as social hierarchies this process of reconciliation also appears in other works where Science and Art, or Religion and Sci-Fi are pitched against one another as a way to see what happens when opposites collide.

Byrne’s multi-disciplinary practice draws on a wide range of interests, ideas and techniques that together are reflective of the diversity of opinions and tastes towards art and within the art world itself.

Born London, England, 1979
Lives & works in London



MFA in Fine Art – Goldsmiths University, London


BA (hons) Critical Fine Art Practice –1st Class, University of Brighton

Prizes & Nominations


Salon Art Prize 2011
Shortlisted for the Salon Art Prize 2011 exhbition as part of the 2D category by Patricia Bickers, Editor of Art Monthly. 70 artists selected from over 1650 applicants.


Anthology Art Prize 2011
Long-listed for this year's show and prize,
43 artists selected from over 650 applicants.


Burt Brills & Cards Graduate Award
Winning Project: Artworld
University of Brighton


Individual private collections