From this place things glimmer 25 MARCH - 23 MAY 2020
We are proud and delighted to be showing this significant new body of work by Andre Hemer, one of New Zealand's most internationally successful and thoughtful artists.
From this place things glimmer was created while Vienna based Hemer undertook an artist residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) at the beginning of 2020. All works originate from images and materials collected on site at the MASS MoCA ground and a nearby quarry. The result is a series of interlinked works in various media - including painting, 3D-printed sculpture, and video.
As with Hemer's practice of recent years, the starting point is videos and flatbed scans of the sky where the work is made. The significant development in this new work is the material embodiment of place for the first time.
The rock and mica gathered on the site have both been scanned - blocking out the sky itself in many places - and actually physically included both in the pigment and across the surface of the paintings. The mica glimmers across the scanned and deeply impastoed surfaces creating an otherworldly landscape and a sense of stars sparkling in night sky.
Hemer's painting in its investigation of the digital and hand interface reflect his view that art reflects the era in which it is made. This work, made almost presciently at the beginning of this year, certainly reflects the current moment and a sense of light and hope amidst the darkness.
What we see are deeply textured works with a complex archaeology - both materially and conceptually.
In the late afternoon just after 4pm, I wander the museum grounds to capture the last light. Adjacent to the studio building is a walkway over the canal that winds its way through the museum grounds. Just beyond stand a series of Franz West sculptures, leaning and contorting pink towers that strike an absurd pose against the dull Massachusetts winter sky. Underneath the sculptures lies a bed of snow-covered rocks in an array of muted tones. To my right, a sparkling glimmer of mica catches the light, revealing an otherwise uniform surface of a greyish rock that stands apart from the others. It's reminiscent of the rock that the previous resident had left on my studio desk.
And from this happenstance comes a month-long hunt for the materiality of this place; a contemporary art museum now, but a printing factory long before that, the beacon of a small American working town. And every night as I walk back from my studio I begin to see that same glimmer everywhere- from a dark country sky without much artificial lighting to intervene upon the stars, to the make-shift ice rink set up in front of the museum.
And then once again in the morning, on the footpath as I walk back to the studio that glimmer that happens when the cement and the air get below freezing. And it's from these wanderings that I've built a portrait of this place; in image and materiality and feeling. Something to behold directly and simply in the midst of uncertainty.
With special thanks to Assets for Artists and the Studios at MASS MoCA.
Andre Hemer has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury and completed a PhD in Fine Arts at the University of Sydney in 2015. 2014 was a turning point for his career with his coining of the term "new representation" to capture what his painting is doing with its integration of the digital with dynamic and sensuous and layering of spray paint, oil and acrylic with thick impasto. His well-received New Representation exhibitions Part 1 in Sydney and Part 2 in Wellington marked the start of his current international trajectory and his new 3D surfaces. Most important, in terms of his global career, was his selection for the cover of the Thames & Hudson book 100 Painters of Tomorrow in late 2014 (with a work exhibited by Bartley + Company Art). At the end of his PhD in Sydney, Andre won an artist residency awarded by the Art Gallery of New South Wales at the Mora Drying Studio in Paris. The residency, following the Thames & Hudson publication, enabled him to get his career off to a strong start in Europe, where he has lived for the past few years in Vienna.
In New Zealand, a first small survey of his work - Andre Hemer: 2005 -2015 was held at the Pataka Art Museum and in 2016 he won two significant New Zealand awards: the Paramount Award in the Wallace Art Awards and an Arts Foundation New Generation Award.
Hemer is represented by galleries in London, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington (in Wellington since 2005). His Singapore gallery, which shows his work in art fairs around the world, describes him as "one of the most sought-after artists of his generation".
Installation view 1