Born 1966 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lives and works in London.

Education

1984–1998 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Fine Art Painting, St. Martin's School of Art, London
1988–1990 Master of Arts Painting, Royal College of Art

Solo Exhibitions (selection)

2012 Andrew Grassie – Collected Works, Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, Vancouver
2008 Andrew Grassie: Painting as Document, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
2005 Art Now: Andrew Grassie: New Hang, Tate Britain, London

Group Exhibitions (selection)

2018 Phase II – Imagining Architecture, Institute Supérieur des Arts de Toulouse, Toulouse
2017 Fully Awake, blip blip blip, Leeds
Wundercamera: Savannah, Telfair Museum, Savannah, GA
An Eyeful of Wry: Government Art Collection, Brynmor Jones Library Gallery, University of Hull, Hull
2016 Complicity: Artifice and Illusion, Collyer Bristow Art Galleries, London
2014 Return Journey, Mostyn, Llandudno
Wundercamera, The Holden Gallery, Manchester
2013 Wundercamera, Pitzhanger Manor, London
Summer 2013: Collected Works, Rennie Collection, Vancouver
2012 Government Art Collection – Commissions: Now and Then, Whitechapel Gallery, London
The Story of the Government Art Collection, Whitechapel Gallery, London
2010 Slow Painting, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen

Andrew Grassie’s paintings are based on photographs he has taken himself or that he, in some cases, has found. Often they have been elaborately staged, although this effort is veiled by the ostensibly unassuming matterof-factness the small, precisely painted works exude. The works are executed with tempera, a technique associated with pre-Renaissance panel paintings anteceding the development of oil paint. Tempera dries very rapidly and remains relatively sheer. To create cover and solid colors, many layers are needed.

 

Grassie’s paintings of exhibition views have a stillness that sometimes belies their subject matter, for example those of the process of installation. The images have a timeless quality, even though they also suggest an action is taking place, that the inhabitants of these spaces had perhaps only briefly left the room or wandered offstage or off screen. His recent series entitled Fabrication depicts specialized workshops, both industrial and artisanal, where art works are being produced.

 

The works combine absolute self-negation with absolute assertion of control: In the process of painting a photograph that includes other artists' works, Grassie is both chameleon-like depicting those works; at the same time, the spatial and conceptual constructions in which his images of installation engage (particularly the fictional ones “curated” by him for his own works), grant him momentary control over the space and history of an institution. In addition, his insertion of a fixed point of view can at times be disorienting to the spectator: Even as one probes a believable space, one’s ability to explore is restrained.

 

Grassie has spoken of creating an “airtight quality that creates a sort of aura of mystery around simple things,” comparing the effect to a vacuum, “as if reality were wrapped in cling film or a layer of thick air.”

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