Archive

Andrew Grassie
November 20, 2010 – January 15, 2011

Exhibition view: Andrew Grassie, Archive, Johnen Galerie, Berlin 2010-11

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Archive: after Ian Wallace's 'In the Street (The Brussels Series)' 1989, 2010 
Tempera on paper on wood

15,2 x 19,3 cm

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Exhibition view: Andrew Grassie, Archive, Johnen Galerie, Berlin 2010-11

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Archive: after Martin Creed's 'Work No.270, Lights Off.' 2001, 2010
Tempera on paper on wood
15,2 x 25,4 cm

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Archive: after Jan Merta's '…a spolu i zapadala', 2000, 2010 
Tempera on paper on wood
15,9 x 20,5 cm 

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Exhibition view: Andrew Grassie, Archive, Johnen Galerie, Berlin 2010-11

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Exhibition view: Andrew Grassie, Archive, Johnen Galerie, Berlin 2010-11

Photo © Jens Ziehe

Archive

Andrew Grassie
Johnen Galerie, Berlin
November 20, 2010 – January 15, 2011
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For his first solo exhibition in Germany, Scottish artist Andrew Grassie (b. 1966, Edinburgh) went through the gallery archive and selected various images, some detailed shots of individual works, some exhibition views. Instead of putting the focus on the gallery history’s ‘highlights’, Grassie was rather interested in the different modes of photographic documentation and all questions that arise by transforming them into paintings.

This exhibition opens different layers of a discourse, one layer dealing with documentation, another with the fact that the artist turned photography into painting. What is the relationship between reality and illusion? Another question debates the potential of documentation as a perfect surrogate for the original: At first glance it is hard to tell Grassie’s egg tempera paintings apart from photographs. When looked at from up close they gain very subtle painterly qualities. Their small format invites the viewer to come closer and study them very thoroughly. Tension exists between the ‘softer’ painterly surface and its quality as a handcrafted object. There is an area of conflict between the depiction of a random photograph that can be reproduced anytime and the pictured art works and exhibition space.

Grassie decided against perfect documentary photographs, and rather chose amateur shots of works by Dan Graham, Martin Creed, Jan Merta, Ian Wallace, Stephan Balkenhol and James Welling, as he is interested in their small flaws and missing perfection. The extinction of any personal hand opens up an area of ideas reaching much further than the artist’s subjective world. The pictures are visually attractive and, caused by their book-like size feel at the same time close to the virtual world of thoughts and language.

Archive is the third and final exhibition celebrating the 25-year history of the gallery. The first was titled We are stardust, we are golden, and focused exclusively on the female artists shown over the years by the gallery. The second exhibition Conversation Pieces was curated by Jens Hoffmann and ‘staged’ both historical, and current artistic positions represented by Johnen Galerie. This ‘chamber play’ was also inspired by the gallery’s close proximity to the Deutsches Theater.

On the occasion of Andrew Grassie’s first exhibition in Germany, the gallery will publish a catalogue with an essay by Raimundas Malasauskas and a dialogue between Malasauskas and the artist.

Andrew Grassie studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, London 1984-88 and received his M.A. at the Royal College of Art, London in 1990. 

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