Tempera on paper on board
18,8 x 14,8 cm (7 1/8 x 5 1/2 in) (image)
35,2 x 31,1 x 3 cm (13 3/4 x 12 1/4 x 1 1/8 in) (framed)
The work is from a new body of work exploring images from the artist’s image archive, among them decades old snapshots associated with personal memories, tied to a specific place, a moment in time. Andrew Grassie chose motifs that had held his attention for reasons he could not always explain: photos from his image archive, sometimes many decades old and exuding a vague awkwardness, became sources for these works.
Each image of this series can be traced to a specific moment, often specific visual phenomena, remembered by the artist for persona and/or artistic reasons.
In the words of Andrew Grassie:
“Thinking more about the series as a film, I thought it might be an idea to imply some sort of character. I had this and other photos of people disappearing out of frame at art fairs. This one was so simple and geometric. The blank canvas by [the British Minimalist artist] Bob Law slightly reflects the woman like some black mirror. The crop was perfect and the geometry hit all the corners. At this stage, I had no idea that I might paint another image of this scene, which I’d go on to complete a year later.”
The intimately scaled, precisely painted work is executed in tempera, a painting technique associated with pre-Renaissance panel paintings anteceding the development of oil paint.
Part of the conceptual premise of transforming fleeting memories captured by photographic snapshots, into unique work of art executed with a time and labor intensive traditional technique, Grassie painted this motif once with the figure and for this work once without. It is one of the few instances in which the artist has significantly altered his source image.