Tempera on paper on board
14,8 x 18,8 cm (5 1/2 x 7 1/8 in) (image)
31,1 x 35,2 x 3 cm (12 1/4 x 13 3/4 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 personal and/or artistic reasons.
In the words of Andrew Grassie:
"This is from a photograph I took in Vancouver crossing a bridge. I was wandering around, taking point and shoot shots of trees, amusing myself with these copies of Rodney Graham’s photographs of inverted trees. It had a dumb quality I liked. So dumb it’s mysterious. Not quite a tourist shot nor a good photograph of a tree. Multiplying the images in this case seemed to increase this ‘dumb’ quality, as if repeating it made anything any clearer."
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 three times. The delicate pattern of tiny brushstrokes characteristic of tempera painting makes each image clearly unique, yet the repetition of the motifs encourages a close examination of the small differences.