JUSTIN ANDREWS | RESONANCE

8 MARCH - 2 APRIL 2017

The Nancy Sever Gallery is pleased to show Resonance, an exhibition of recent work by Justin Andrews.

Justin Andrews was born in Melbourne in 1973. He graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Art (Hons) in 2000 and a Master of Philosophy (Visual Art) in 2003, both from the Australian National University in Canberra.  He lives and works in Castlemaine, Victoria.

In his Artist Statement Justin Andrews refers to “the surface of his paintings as being compressed and stratified versions of the voluminous space that surrounds them. All the actions and activities get funnelled into them so that the work itself and the method used to produce it is the subject matter.  What the viewer associates with in the painting is also the subject. The painting becomes an index of decisions, a visual narrative of its own making.”

“What I’m really making is a representation of thought processes”, the artist explains. “The layers of paint solidify impulses - there’s a transferal of energy there. There’s so much gesture, strength, belief, purpose, direction and evocation laid out in each one, culminating in a kind of palpable resonance”. 

Over the past 16 years Justin Andrews has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Amsterdam, Basel, Brussels, Cologne and Dusseldorf. He has participated in collaborative projects and group exhibitions locally and internationally. His work is represented in corporate and private collections in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA.

 

Artworks included in the exhibition:

(for details of the works, please click and hold cursor over the image)

Views of the exhibition

Justin Andrews | Artist's Statement

RESONANCE

I think it’s interesting to make paintings without any specific visual knowledge of how they progress. It feels as though conscious control is being relinquished, allowing the work to somehow evolve more freely. It also means that when I do step in and attempt resolution, again I am faced with a situation I could not have otherwise prepared. Which in turn leads towards further unanticipated outcomes

Colour choices are usually impulsive and sometimes based on the memory of ones that have already been applied – either in the painting at hand or in other artworks more generally. Compositional decision-making is therefore constrained to the present tense. The painting becomes an index of decisions, a visual narrative of its own making.

I’m not interested in making paintings of something in particular. I’m not even interested in subject matter. The work itself and the method used to produce it is the subject matter. What the viewer associates within the painting is also the subject, but that’s not something I have to portray in a deliberate, didactic way.

The limits of the picture plane keep a certain amount of my ideas visual. The surface of my paintings are like compressed and stratified versions of the voluminous space that surrounds them. All of my actions and activities get funnelled into them. The plane of contact that is the painted surface must be made to carry so much. In this way, the picture plane becomes a prism of the studio.

What I’m really making is a representation of thought processes. The layers of paint solidify impulses – there’s a transferal of energy there. There’s so much gesture, strength, belief, purpose, direction and evocation laid out in each one, culminating in a kind of palpable resonance.

Try staring at something until it is known intimately from every angle. You can explain it on a theoretical and technical level, yet still never really know why it is. For me, that’s what it’s like to make an abstract painting. Looking at these works, what is felt is what has gone into making them, what they stand for and stand in as.

They are works of resonance.

Justin Andrews

February 2017

Endless Vectors

These paintings hit you like snapshots from a sudden expansion of force. Justin Andrews’s work often does this, but now it is tempered by a zig-zagging bounce and claustrophobic shudder. Angled strips of colour criss-cross each canvas in a frenetic rhythm, like vectors of energy bouncing around inside a metal box. At close range the motion suddenly stops, made implausible by small details that assert the concrete materiality of the object. These details are ciphers that tell us the strips have actually remained still while layers of ground have accumulated over them.

Veiny blooms of pigment bleed from the otherwise sharp edge of the strips, because the masking tape used to create these sharp lines has not been sealed. Andrews knows how to paint a sharp line better than anyone, so this ‘imperfection’ must be there to tell us something specific. Indeed the paint bleeds into the interior of the strips to tell us they have been subtracted from the ground rather than placed on top: that they are trenches rather than platforms. This has an intimidating precedent in Modern painting. The ‘zips’ of Barnett Newman similarly bleed into their interior to reveal that they are negative forms, removed from a monochromatic field rather than added to them. By this subtle inversion the figure and ground relationship is annihilated by a ground and ground relationship.

Andrews links his paintings to the tradition of the monochrome, and he certainly experiences them as such when he makes them. The entire surface is painted one colour before new strips of tape are laid down. Another layer of monochrome is painted over the whole surface before more tape is added. Several layers of this accumulate before Andrews finally removes the banked-up tape to reveal the tangle of strips for the first time. This knowledge turns my initial impression inside-out, and instead I see parallel layers of monochromes made simultaneously visible by rents in their surface. The construction of these paintings is necessarily linear, which presents a temporal aspect simply because one layer must follow another in sequence. It is not temporality as an active process of change, but as sedimentary layers of calcified time.

This is complicated by strips weaving over and under one another, in a feat of masking-tape acrobatics that refutes a linear order of layers. This virtuoso interweaving allows the strips to pop forward again and assert their independence. In Newman’s paintings the figure ground relationship remains intact, albeit rattled by a resonant glitch. Here the strips are able to indulge the Modernist observance of self-contained facticity and at the same time be almost figural in their mobility. This is emphasised by glancing angles as they bounce off each vertical edge. The bouncing action seems to acknowledge the integrity of the boundary, but then the strips zoom off the picture plane in a vector that activates expanded territory beyond.

That territory is expanded further by the evident reliance on external devices. The strips are a just handful of different widths because they reflect the standard gauges of masking tape and the various forms of extruded aluminium that are used to produce them. Over twenty canvases, the precise reproduction of these parameters becomes a repetitive pulse. This rhythm, along with the bleeding and interweaving, serves as index to a constant and identifiable thing located outside the painting. That thing may just be a banal tool-of-the-trade such as masking tape, but as that tape frantically criss-crosses over the same piece of ground again and again it reminds me that no canvas is big enough to hold the full length of a roll. This offers both a metaphor and concrete expression of the basic drama of Andrews’s work: the irreconcilable conflict between a limited ground and vectors that strain towards endlessness.

Bryan Spier, February 2017.

Justin Andrews | Biographical details 

(born 1973, Melbourne, Australia)

Education

2003        Master of Philosophy (Visual Art), NITA School of Art, ANU, Canberra

2000        Bachelor of Visual Art (Hons), NITA School of Art, ANU, Canberra

Selected solo exhibitions

2016        Presentness, NKN Gallery, Melbourne

                Drawing Time, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Victoria

                Through Space and Time, Suki & Hugh, Bungendore, New South Wales

2015        Hold Fast Stay True, Raygun, Toowoomba, Queensland

2014        Surrounded by Material and Matter, TYSON, Cologne, Germany

                After Form, NKN Gallery, Melbourne

2013        Beyond Time, Blockprojects, Melbourne

2012        In Darkness Born, TCB Inc., Melbourne

                Drawing Wall #8, Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria

                Projector, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

2011        Projection, Hebel_121, Basel, Switzerland
                Systems, La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, Bendigo, Victoria
                Monuments, University of Southern Queensland Art Gallery, Toowoomba, Queensland

2010        Materials, Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane

                Special Project, (w/ Jan van der Ploeg), Karlusic House, Melbourne

2009        Analogue Shift, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

2008        MID AIR, KONSORTIUM, Dusseldorf, Germany

                To the Centre, PS, Amsterdam, Holland

                 Discursive Geometry, CCNOA Project Room, Brussels, Belgium

2007        Surface Tension, Gallery 25, Mildura, Victoria

2006        Of This Space, (w/ Karin Van Roosmalen), SHOW, Wellington, New Zealand

                No. 22, SNO, Sydney

                WALL DRAWINGS, (w/ Stephen Bram), Room103, Auckland, New Zealand

                Colour and Form, (w/ Kyle Jenkins), Canary Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

2005        Planar Constructions, Department Of The Exterior, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

2004        Complex Structures, MOP Projects / Sydney, Seventh Gallery / Melbourne

2003        M.A.P., (w/ Masato Takasaka), Studio12, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne

                Sequence, WestSpace Gallery, Melbourne

2002        Technician, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra

 

Selected group exhibitions

2016        The Infinite Loop, Justin Art House Museum, Melbourne / Engine Room Gallery, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

                Visions of Utopia, Wollongong Art Gallery, New South Wales

2015        It takes more than 140 characters to write a novel, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne
                Abstraction 14, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne
                Spring 1883 (w/ NKN Gallery), The Establishment, Sydney

                Colour and Line are not Lies, West Project, Hazelbrook, NSW / USQ Red Door Gallery, Toowoomba, QLD
                Variable Concepts, Trocadero Art Space, Melbourne

                Here and Now, NKN Gallery, Melbourne

2014        Dystotal, Pori Art Museum, Finland

                Eins + Eins, Galerie Esther Donatz, Munich, Germany

               30/30 image archive, A/B/C Contemporary, Zurich, Switzerland

                PS 1999-2014, PS/deSERVICEGARAGE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

               The Sketches of Rain, Aesop (Collins St) / Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne

                Perceptions of Space: Justin Collection, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne

2013        DRAWING NOW, Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

                Graphic Art, De Rondom 18, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

                Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria

2012        SNO at the Australia Council, Australia Council Foyer, Sydney

                30/30 image archive, Moins Un, Paris, France

                Drawing Folio 2 – Ruler, Pencil, Time, Block Projects, Melbourne

2011        Abstraction 10, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

               ASsPEN ISLAND, Neon Parc, Melbourne

2010       Abstraction 9, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

               UND Intercontinental 2010, Schwartz Gallery, London, UK

               Paul Guest Collection, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria

               Composition, Conical Inc., Melbourne

               No. 62, SNO, Sydney

               No. 60, SNO, Sydney

               No. 57, SNO, Sydney

2009       Cubism and Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

               Reductive, ACGA Gallery @ Federation Square, Melbourne

               Gold, SCA Gallery, Sydney

              Open House for Butterflies, MINUS SPACE project space, Brooklyn, NY

              PS 1999-2009, PS, Amsterdam / Kunstruimte09, Groningen, The Netherlands

              Drawing Folio, Block Projects, Melbourne

              Legacies, University of Southern Queensland Art Gallery, Toowoomba

2008      Advance /Retreat: three experiments in transdisciplinary collaboration, (Inverted Topology), West Space, Melbourne
              Gegenstandslos, Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung e.V., Bonn, Germany
              Upside Down, MINUS SPACE project space, Brooklyn, NY
              Yo Mo Modernism II, CCNOA, Brussels, Belgium
               Under the Surface, RC de Ruimte, Ijmuiden, Hollan

              My Eyes Keep me in Trouble, SCA Gallery (Sydney, Australia)

              Physics Room (Christchurch, NZ)

2007        Australian Contemporary Non-Objective Art, Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche (Osnabrück), Museum im Kulturspeicher (Würzburg), RAUM2810 /                 Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung e.V. (Bonn), Germany

                UND Jetzt, IS / Galerie Le Petit Port (Leiden), The Netherlands

               Abstraction 6, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

ABSTRACTION ARCHITECTURE SPACE, RMIT Project Space + Spare Room, Melbourne

2006        New Work – Unpacked and Expanded, CCP, Melbourne

               New Work, George Paton Gallery, Melbourne University

               Palimpsest #6, Rio Vista House/Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura

               TAKE OFF, Hebel_121, Basel, Switzerland

               Early Fabricated, CCNOA (Brussels), Belgium, Tracer Projects (Toowoomba), Peloton Gallery (Sydney), Ocular Lab (Melbourne)

               Awkward Balance, Blindside, Melbourne

               Ambient Abstraction, SNO, Sydney

2005       No. 2, SNO, Sydney

               No. 9, SNO, Sydney

               Andrews / Bram / Takasaka, PB Gallery, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne

              Dimensions Variable, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra

2004      Abstract Realities, MOP Projects, Sydney

              The Armoury Show (w/ RAID projects), New York City, USA

               Constructed Colour, Artspace, Sydney

 

Selected citations

M Ascroft                 “Is Painting a Technology?”, (ex. cat.), October 2014

Q Sprague                “Alien in the mix”, Stamm, August 2013

A Kenny                   “Beyond the Black Square”, (ex. cat.), June 2012

A Kenny                   “An Immodest Proposal”, (ex. cat.), November 2011

C Easton                   “Opinion: ANALOGUE SHIFT”, ARTINFO, November 2009

S Cramer                  “Cubism and Australian Art” (ex. cat.), The Miegunyah Press, MUP, November 2009

C Barnes                   “Cubism and Australian Art” (ex. cat.), The Miegunyah Press, MUP, November 2009

C Barnes                   “Analogue Shift”, (ex. cat.), August 2009                 

G Kodde                   “Letter”, (ex. cat), 15 February 2008
G Newton                 “Abstraction/Architecture/Space”, SPEECH, September 2007
C Barnes                   “ABSTRACTION / ARCHITECTURE / SPACE” (ex. cat.), August 2007
K Burns                    “Site Drawing” (ACCA +Plus Factors ex. cat.), March 2006
C Clark                     “Dimensions Variable” EYELINE issue #58 Spring 2005
A Memishi                “Awkward Balance” (ex. cat), July 2005
D Clarke/L Byrne      “Dimensions Variable” (ex.cat), July 2005
D Lacy                      "Inverted Topology" (ex. cat), April/July 2005, March 2006
M Kidd                     "Melbourne Finishing School" Natural Selection no.3, January 2005
K Jenkins                 "Constructed Colour" (ex.cat.) Artspace, Sydney, September 2004
D Lacy                      "A Process Of Abstraction" (ex. cat.), May/August 2004
D Morison                 "M.A.P.i.", Natural Selections no.1, February 2004

curated

2016                        The Infinite Loop, Justin Art House Museum, Melbourne / Engine Room Gallery, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

2012                         Drawing Folio 2 – Ruler, Pencil, Time (with John Nixon), Block Projects, Melbourne

2010                         Composition, Conical Inc., Melbourne

2009                         Drawing Folio (with John Nixon), Block Projects, Melbourne

2007                        ABSTRACTION / ARCHITECTURE / SPACE, RMIT Project Space + Spare Room, Melbourne


residencies

2008        Australia Council Skills and Arts Development Grant - Tokyo Studio
2000        UMAP Overseas Study Scholarship, LasalleSIA School of Fine Art, Singapore

 

publications

"Material" .Limited edition publishing project, Melbourne, 2014

"Index" (3) Artist book project, ed. of 50, Melbourne, 2012

"Index" (2) Artist book project, ed. of 50, Melbourne, 2011

"Index" (1) Artist book project, ed. of 50, Melbourne, 2010

 “Colour and Form”  Exhibition poster (with Kyle Jenkins), Canary Gallery, Auckland, 2006

 “M.A.P.” Self-published ex/cat (with Masato Takasaka), ed. of 200, Studio12, GCAS, Melbourne
 

public collections

Centre for Contemporary Non Objective Art, Brussels, Belgium

Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung e.V.,Bonn, Germany

Artbank

Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand

Mildura Arts Centre, Victoria
ANU Art Collection, Canberra

La Trobe University Art Collection

Curtin University, Perth  

private collections  

Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Amsterdam, Basel, Bonn, Brussels, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore.