artists to watch 7 – iain andrews

20 April 2011 § Leave a comment

Iain Andrews, you may recall, had his ‘fifteen minutes’ of fame as one of the few painters featured on the BBC’s ‘School of Saatchi‘. Inevitably, given that Tracey Emin was one of the judges, anyone with any recognisable talent with a pencil or brush was immediately discarded – conceptual art installations only please!

I am sure that much more than ‘fifteen minutes’ will ultimately come Ian’s way as this is an artist with real talent. He has just won the Marmite prize, competing against 48 other talented artists and was last year shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize.

Iain’s paintings take an image from art history to begin his dialogue with the past. A painting by an Old Master that may then be rearranged or used as a starting point from which to playfully but reverently deviate. His recent work is concerned with the ‘struggle to capture the relationship between the spiritual and the sensual – apparent opposites that are expressed through the conflict of high narrative themes and sensuous painterly marks. The sheer enjoyment of making these marks is not intended to drown out the appearance of the real through a curtain of expressionistic gestures, but rather an attempt to transform and redeem the form through the act of making.’

Iain treads a path that plays between the borders of figuration and abstraction, and thus slows down the viewer. His work is sensuous and material, yet also deserving of contemplation. If his works continues to develop he could go far and is worth looking out for.

marmite prize winner announced

9 April 2011 § Leave a comment

Ok, the name does not quite have the resonance of the Turner Prize but the biennial Marmite Prize (either you love it or hate it?) does however offer a good selection of what it happening in contemporary painting with forty-eight artists from around the world competing for the award. The finalists are now being shown at an exhibition at the Nunnery in east London (details below).  This exhibition of a diverse selection of paintings by 48 artists provides the opportunity to view new work by established painters alongside emerging artists.

The selected works offer a broad look at contemporary painting, ranging from the monumental, as seen in Tom Ormond’s The New Light of Tomorrow (2010), to the very dark, such as The Decomposition of Violets (2010) by Ben Walker. Amongst the less conventional paintings on display are Daniela Sarigu’s, Loop (2010), which is made up of cut up strips of painted canvas sitting in a pile on the floor and Soheila Sokhanvari’s Not Dead Yet (2010), painted directly onto the hard cover of a book.

This years prize-winner has just been announced as Iain Andrews (top), an artist that I have had my eye on ever since he was (thankfully) thrown out of  infamous School of Saatchi TV series at the very first post. One of the shortlist of  – I think – 24 artists to make the show he was sure to get knocked out the moment I uttered ‘that guy is the sure-fire winner’!…. I will post him as ‘One to Watch’ in the near future.

Kate Knight (left) and Tina Jenkins (above) were deserving of the two runners-up spots.

The London exhibition will take place from the 8th April to 1st May (Friday – Sunday 12 -6pm), at The Nunnery, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ (Tube – Bow Road, DLR – Bow Church, Bus – 8, 25, 205, 425)

Tel: 020 8709 5292



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