Andrew Grassie Lecture – 3 February 2016


Andrew Grassie Lecture 1

Painting by Andrew Grassie of a virtual show held in Tate Britain’s Art Now room. Exhibition was called New Hang


Scottish Painter born in Edinburgh
BA at St Martins College of Art

Represented by Maureen Paley Gallery

Andrew Grassie’s work is founded on a search of what to paint. His search led him to constantly change his style of painting in a bid to find a signature style and he left the RCA with no clear idea of what to paint despite having particularly strong drawing and painting skills.

Finding a process, set of rules, reason and subject matter to paint was finally resolved when Andrew decided to put together exhibitions in galleries, photograph the work in the space and paint the images. The painted images then became the material for the exhibitions … they are images of virtual shows.  The concept is mind bending and visually must have caused the viewers to ‘double take’ the work. The paintings themselves are roughly postcard size, highly realistic and painted with egg tempera… in other words the painting themselves are traditionally rendered with great patience.

Very honest and open in discussing his search for a subject to paint and clearly finds relief in being ‘told what to do’ in the sense of setting up a framework or set of rules within which to work.

His work brings to mind the absence of the maker. The paintings have a quality of stillness, space and hand-madeness.


Andrew Grassie Lecture 3

Shot of the installation of the virtual show at Tate Britain


Andrew Grassie is a painter whose works engage with complex ideas. Grassie’s starting point is a re-examination of the fundamental question of what to paint. He turns this question on its head, producing paintings which present a series of compelling propositions about painting itself, recording and representing scenarios such as the circumstances of their own production or display.

New Hang consists of thirteen small paintings. Each shows a different view of an exhibition in the space in which Grassie’s paintings are exhibited, Tate Britain’s Art Now room. This exhibition is made up of works from the Tate collection, including well-known paintings and sculptures by historic British artists such as George Stubbs and J.M.W. Turner, international modern ‘masters’ such as Barnett Newman and Pablo Picasso, and works by two living artists: Bridget Riley and Bruce Nauman. Grassie’s paintings are hung according to the view of the room that they depict. Thus, a viewer looking at one of Grassie’s pictures will see a view of the space in which they are standing. They might also notice that the lighting in the room is exactly the same as in Grassie’s paintings. This doubling – of the space in the paintings and the space which the viewer occupies – creates a dislocation which questions our sense of reality, space and illusion.


Andrew Grassie Lecture 2

Carefully planned placements of paintings to promote a particular journey through a show




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s