Iain Andrews – Il Teatro del Leviatano at Man&Eve

1 November 2013 § Leave a comment

I first noticed Iain Andrews on the short-lived TV art ‘reality’ show School of Saatchi  in 2009. Having picked him out as a potential winner he was of course immediately axed after the first show. My other pick, Saad Qureshi, lasted a little longer before being booted out, but was quickly picked up by the Mayfair based Gazelli Art House where he is doing very well indeed. Incidentally not much seems to have happened to the eventual winner Eugenie Scrase – forcefully steam-rollered in by Emin. She has a website but, it seems, no gallery.


Man & Eve , a Kennington gallery who pick up a lot of early career graduates, signed up Andrews a couple of years back. This is his first solo show for them. Andrews’ early works originate through dialogue with particular paintings from the canon of art history which he transcribes so that his canvases contain reference to them, whilst disturbing and animating the source. His technique runs from broad and gestural to fine and delicate, clearly unafraid of using bold colours that sweep across his canvases.10154777376_1c94453ff8

Il Teatro dei Leviatano is both a development of and departure from Andrews’ earlier paintings. At the centre of this new body of work is an intricate miniature theatre – another vehicle through which he considers different historical art movements.The_Unlikely_Pilgrimage_of_John_Milton_The_Eucatastrophe_.179297b

Peter Fuller wrote about how, in the past, an artist could “transform the physically perceived by the manifestation of allegoric devices like haloes and ‘human’ wings, whereas now this can only be realised through the transfiguration of formal means like drawing, colour and touch”. In Andrews’ work, the act of making becomes inseparable from the message that is being conveyed through the marks, one of the importance of transformation and redemption.10154829833_e6e8c85085

Andrews’ states that his work illustrates the “struggle to capture the relationship between the spiritual and the sensual, apparent opposites that are expressed in my work through the conflict of high narrative themes and sensuous painterly marks.”

Iain Andrews – Il Teatro dei Leviatano, Man & Eve
Exhibition runs 2nd November — 14th December 2013

Private View Friday 1st November 6 — 9pm
Exhibition open Tuesday — Saturday, 11am — 6pm

pordenone who? a year of akickupthearts

11 July 2011 § 2 Comments

Amazingly I have now been blogging my way through the London art scene for a whole year now. I thank all those of you – some 20,000 – who have bothered to read my assorted ramblings.

Meanwhile, thanks to the nice people at WordPress, there are all sorts of reports and analyses to discover what the great British public (clearly in this case a notch above the average!) really are interested in.  Which blogs were most read, the search terms you used to find the site and what you had for breakfast? I shall reveal all….

OK, not your breakfasts, but you get my drift – there is an awful lot of analysis available and there are all sorts of statistical traps to tumble in to, the chief one being that any ‘visitor’ analysis reflects what I have actually written about eg: Marc Quinn would not be on the list because I did not write about him. Another problem is that even if I wrote about ‘Picasso’ daily who who click my blog amongst the zillions of Picasso search results?  Treat the ‘charts’ below with caution but you never know they may actually reveal something?

1. Most visited and searched of the year, by a mile, was Pordenone Montenari, an unfortunate recluse who was rocketed in to the news by an Indian fund manager who thought that he could make a quick buck by promoting him as a newly discovered genius – he isn’t (image above).

2. I spent a couple of spare hours compiling a brief list of art-related humorous quotes and jokes. Sadly it trounced many deeply considered blogs of serious critical analysis and was second most searched. Oh well…

3. Amazingly Wolf Vostell came in third. I wrote just one feature about him and commented that he was sadly ignored in the annals of post-war art. Obviously not by many hundreds of you! Exhibition curators take note…

4. Ah, then comes the first contemporary artist – clearly it will be Emin, Hirst or Banksy perhaps? No, it is Eugenie Scrase, the oft- ridiculed winner of TV’s School of Saatchi. Ignore the power of TV at your peril. Worth a flutter if she ever gets a solo gallery show.

5 & 6. Perhaps we shall now get on to some serious art? Nope. Next is Ben Wilson the ‘chewing gum artist’. Well, he is quite interesting. Picasso slips meaninglessly in at 6th before the next half-dozen places. These are taken by contemporary artists of which I have featured literally hundreds, many of them mentioned numerous times. I have covered all the emerging artists championed for example by Saatchi and the top commercial galleries. Are these the ‘cream’ of those featured? Is too little being written about them? Should we take more notice of them in the future?

7. Hannah Wilke – thanks, at least in part, to a great review of the Alison Jacques Gallery exhibition written by Sue Hall.

8. Jacco Olivier. Mesmeric fusing of painting and the moving images at Victoria Miro.

9. Alison Jackson. Hilarious and sometimes disturbing photos that ‘depict our suspicions’. Wry comments on our relationship with celebrity.

10. Wangechi Mutu. Striking paintings and collages referencing cultural identity.

11. Michael Fullerton. A brilliant show at Chisenhale and with work in British Art Now 7, his star is rising fast.

12. Following closely behind was Ida Ekblad, young and inventive Danish multi-media artist.

13. Clare Woods paints the strange, dark world of urban undergrowth.

Following close behind are Littlewhitehead and Toby Ziegler. A little farther back is Damien Hirst – perhaps surprising he’s not higher, but then again he does get rather a lot of column inches written about him.

Littlewhitehead - It Happened in the Corner

Biggest surprise? Perhaps the fact that Tracey Emin is not on the list – or in fact even in the top 50 artists – despite the fact that my Love is What You Want Hayward review appears on the first couple of pages on a Google search and that I have featured her regularly when in contrast eg: Olivier and Ekblad I featured just once. Emin perhaps is not what you want?

So there we have it. After a year of careful and deep intellectual musing on the complexities of the contemporary art scene what you really were most interested in were an Italian recluse and a few jokes. Now where did I hear about that one legged, reclusive, dwarf, artist?

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

E-mail: nunnery@bowarts.com


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