27 Aug — 12 Sept 2009
Dublin-based artist Andrew Vickery presents his first one-person exhibition at the Gallery in August. Andrew creates paintings with an appealing immediacy – they are full of charm, yet all have an underlying subversive element, creating a slight sense of unease in the viewer. They are painted from memory and function as individual mnemonic devices recollecting very specific experiences and events. The artist states “although giving the appearance of assumed naïveté and detachment, they attempt to represent very particular moments of engagement with the emphasis on the feeling of the experience. They are both oblique and yet explicit”. Themes which recur in his work are nature, culture, sex and traveling.
His paintings contain no dramatis personae as they are intended to function as theatre scenes – only the traces of a past event remain, inviting the viewer into a world that is cloaked in melodrama. Something is happening, has happened or is about to happen. The artist wants to promote the memory and imagination of the viewer. He invites us to create our own narrative and participate in the work in our own subjective way. In Besenkammer we enter an empty bar. The only evidence of life is the bright yellow tram passing the window outside. A table stands littered with empty bottles and glasses. A solitary bottle stands on a fruit machine. We sense that this scene has been recently vacated, leaving only material traces of a past event. He states “the individual paintings highlight theatricality and function as a threshold to another reality: a world of enchantment, romance, sex and escape”.
His works also convey an element of the cinematic in his spatial composition. In The Oldest Taxi, for example, the viewer is placed within the vehicle, as a passenger perhaps? Our viewpoint is framed by the dashboard and the windscreen; snowy mounds are illuminated by headlights as the car hurtles along this unknown, desolate road at night.
He describes his paintings as containing “numerous paradoxes”. His intention being always to blur distinctions between what is real and unreal, between memory and imagination, and between what is true and what is false.
All the works from this show are painted using the little-known medium of gouache on canvas.
Recent exhibitions by Andrew include two solo shows: Royal Hibernian Academy, 2007 and ‘Do you know what you saw?’ at the Douglas Hyde Gallery 2. He has also exhibited in a number of group shows; Christmas Group Exhibition, Peppercanister Gallery, 2008; 25 Years On, Ormeau Baths Gallery, 2006; Tír na nÓg, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2004; Mark Garry, Tony Swain, Andrew Vickery, Kerlin Gallery, 2004; Permaculture, Project Gallery, 2003; The Holiday Show, RHA Gallery, 2002 and Utopias, Douglas Hyde Gallery, 1999. Vickery’s recent installation at the Douglas Hyde Gallery now resides in the collection of The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.
The Private View will take place from 5.30-7.30pm on Thursday 27th August 2009 and will run until Saturday 12th September. All works are available for viewing prior to the Opening.