Andrew Spence: Looking Back and Moving Forward

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Open: Wed-Sat noon-5pm

211 East 121st Street, 10035, New York, United States
Open: Wed-Sat noon-5pm


Andrew Spence: Looking Back and Moving Forward

New York

Andrew Spence: Looking Back and Moving Forward
to Fri 18 Feb 2022
Wed-Sat noon-5pm
Artist: Andrew Spence

Opening reception: Wednesday 26 January, 5pm-8pm

David Richard Gallery presents Looking Back and Moving Forward, a solo exhibition of 12 artworks by Andrew Spence in his debut presentation with the gallery.

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 1

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 2

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 3

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 4

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 5

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 6

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 7

David Richard Gallery Andrew Spence 8

The presentation also debuts a suite of five abstract paintings that were conceived and initiated as hard edge silk screen prints on canvas in 1998. Recently completed in 2020 and 2021, the suite, along with the process and resulting imagery, is the critical focus of the exhibition. The presentation also includes seven artworks that represent smaller series of paintings and prints from which imagery was appropriated and incorporated into the suite of paintings by layering certain forms and compositional elements on top of the silk screen images. Thus, the geometric screen prints serve as the ground, while the painted layered shapes and forms became the figure. The hybrid compositions combine and contrast visual and theoretical themes in art such as: non-objective abstraction and representational elements; hard edge and gestural abstraction; flat and illusory space; literal and imagined places; reality and memory; high art and graphic design; nature and architecture; original paintings and reproductions; handmade and prefab.

The artist stated, “While for the most part, my subject matter comes from everyday personal experience, the process of combining printing and painting techniques created images that were strangely abstract and appealing to me. This all began in the late 1980s when I was working on several print projects (Pace Edition [wood cuts], Parasol Press [aquatints] and Garner Tullis Workshop [monotypes]). My paintings began to move from being spatially flat to a new multi-layered space creating an illusion of depth. Figures began to float over the flat backgrounds activating a kind of deep space. Like multi-tasking, it took me awhile to adjust seeing two things at the same time. My painting is still addressing this format forty years later.”

There is discipline and rigor to Spence’s artwork, which is, not being dogmatic about process, methodology, or predetermined outcomes. The artist prefers being receptive to new ideas, influences, possibilities, and empirical processes, all rich with surprises. This approach has served Spence well with a large body of work that has a visual trajectory enduring the test of time. His shifts and changes from early days in Los Angeles (focused on process, surfaces and monochrome paintings as well as architectural and design influences) to his work in New York since 1977 (exploring objects, reducing and abstracting them to non-objective shapes—almost icons), followed by two decades of teaching at Bennington College in Vermont (which brought nature, layering, editing through printing and combining new and old work) and while still in New York today, where all of the art works well together, the focus has now shifted towards space and perceptual depth through vector geometry, color, appropriation and re-invention.

© Andrew Spence, Courtesy David Richard Gallery. Images by Yao Zu Lu

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