Bartley and Company Art EXHIBITIONS | ARTISTS | NEWS | ABOUT
ANDRÉ HEMER
THE BANG-BANG PAINTING COLLECTIVE, NEW PAINTINGS, 24 FEBRUARY - 21 MARCH 2009

The BANG-BANG Painting Collective is a new body of work "seeking to push, pull, and provoke the possibilities that painting presents". The term 'collective', Hemer says, is used to refer not to a group of artists, but rather to speak to the range of colliding conceptual possibilities that can occur even within a single body of work.

Hemer likes his paintings to contain contradictions. These paintings are visually light-heard but loaded with history; they are abstract yet the paint acts in an almost figurative manner - tumbling, falling, stacked and heaped within the landscape of the linen-covered stretcher; they are hand-painted yet initially drawn on computer.

In using the computer as his starting point for painting, Hemer hopes to both renew and sabotage conventional ways of seeing and thinking about the painting process.

"This is not about making work about technology, but instead using technology as a way of generating a physical process," he says. "A computer-drawn image is transformed into visceral and physical layers of paint that sit clearly raised from the raw linen surface. The computer software's failure to do something as simple as recreating a curve without distorted lines is reproduced faithfully by hand- in a triumph of the physical object over digital, and hand over computer."

Since graduating with a Masters of Fine Arts with distinction from the University of Canterbury in 2006, André has been continuously painting in New Zealand and overseas. After finishing his degree he went to London to a Royal College of Art Postgraduate Painting Residency and last year he spent time in Korea on an artist residency run by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.

Bartley Company Art acknowledges the support of AVS with the installation of the moving image component of this exhibition. Our thanks go to Peter Stobbart and his team for the provision of the LCD monitor.

Thanks also to Asia New Zealand who supported André Hemer's residency in Seoul where the 2008 paintings in this exhibition were produced.

Artist Statement

In my painting pactice I do not look for a manifesto or end game, but rather I try to suggest avenues for investigation. The continued scenario of painting is like playing tennis against a concrete wall- where even the most well timed shot or intervention to the ball's trajectory won't result in a win, instead resulting in new pathways and directions for the ball to travel.

As such my painting does not seek to promote a specific discourse, but rather remain accessible for a more open discussion to take place. As a New Zealand artist my practice is based on an experience of dislocation to the broader art world. I do not wish to make work that reinforces a singular cultural discourse- instead I choose to navigate global dislocations through finding commonalities of convention in art practice.

The primary concern of my practice is an investigation of the relationships between painting history, process and object-hood. I want to create paintings that have explicit contradiction- where something simple and visually light-hearted can be also be complex and contextually loaded- and where the assumptions of technical painting process can be subverted. I am interested in the unravelling and exploiting the physical nature of painting.

I hope to renew and sabotage the conventional ways of looking and seeing painting process through the intrusion and translation of a computer drawn image into paint. This is not about making work about technology, but instead using technology as a way of generating a physical process. A computer-drawn image is broken down through the calculated translation into paint- it is transformed from a digital image into visceral and physical layers of paint that sit clearly raised from the raw linen surface. The computer software's failure to do something as simple as recreating a curve without distorted lines is reproduced faithfully by hand- in a triumph of the physical object over digital, and hand over computer. In this scenario technologies' failures prove more interesting than its successes.

The visual devices are derived from the idea of 'drawing paint'. Paint acts as a figurative element- tumbling, falling, stacked, and heaped within the landscape created by the object of the linen-covered stretcher. Some paintings contain a matter-of-factness reduction, while others provoke an oddly recognizable kind of figuration. An inferred visual humour and light heartedness are central to my painting practice.

The paintings use a restricted colour palette which acts as a constant constraint in my practice. Fashionable pastel tones sit amongst bright industrial colours, creating a palette that reinforces the optimistic and naive visual façade of the work.

Painting is a materially simple, but it's historical lineage and contextual basis is far more complex. Painting holds an openness which is found in the simplicity and recognisability of its production.




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