Andy Wicks Paints Blog

Florence Trust Alumni @ The London Art Fair 19 – 23rd Jan

Posted in Florence Trust by Andy Wicks on 18 January, 2011

The Florence Trust are exhibiting at this years London Art Fair at The Business Design Centre with an excellent selection of FT Alumni. You can find the stand in the Art Projects section in the fair, stand P8 to see what some the artists have been up to since completing their residencies.

Louise Thomas, Grace Dalrymple Elliot, 2010

Matthew Atkinson, Hermetic Alchemy, 2010

Superunknown Press Release

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 18 September, 2010


Michael Ashcroft | Matthew Atkinson | Gordon Cheung | Sayshun Jay | Graham McNamara | David Northedge | Ed Payne | James Roper | Rob Sherwood | David Small | Andy Wicks | Rosalie Wiesner

Edel Assanti is proud to present Superunknown, an exhibition curated by Andy Wicks and David Northedge.

Literature and Hollywood have long been creating dark and empty visions of near future societies in decline.  In the present day, materials addressing this subject matter have once again found their way onto reading lists and cinema screens, forming a focal point for contemporary popular culture.

Projections of our universal future are often delivered in cautionary tones and serve as warning of how to avoid the total decimation of society. Notional futures of grim decaying interiors and bleak grey landscapes populated by savage inhabitants are the cultural benchmark for a morbid moribund world limping towards apocalypse.

Superunknown is a group show of twelve artists who produce work that addresses a future full of dreams, illusions and fantasies, celebrating the neglected virtues of the glossy, lurid and bizarre. The combined works on show articulate a hallucinatory collective vision of a future in which illicit vices serve as the connective tissues for a population wheeling recklessly onwards with a stoic apathy toward redemption and self-preservation.

This group show is formed predominately of painters whose work share a common aesthetic of semi abstraction and contemporary landscape. The exhibition also features photography, video, sculpture and installation based works.

Rosalie Wiesner 'Room'

James Roper 'W=mg'

Coming soon…

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 15 September, 2010

Superunknown - Edel Assanti - October 2010


Posted in Exhibitions, News by Andy Wicks on 16 December, 2009

Rob Gallagher

The Framery – the ‘pop up space’ where Ultramegaok is showing – is nested in a cluster of estates just off Old Street. The press release for the show makes much of how such spaces enable artists to circumvent the perniciously ‘glossy’ gallery system and ‘show work fresh from the studio in its unadulterated state’.

Across the street from the gallery there’s rows of balconies rigged with washing lines and satellite dishes big enough to bath a toddler in – a reminder that the artworld definition of rawness is kind of different to everyone else’s.

But then tensions between glossiness and roughness, fantasy and reality are exactly what this work is about, both at a thematic and a technical level. Even the show’s title – borrowed from a Soundgarden album – references the difficulty of recording a live event without rendering it inert and bloodless.

All three artists showing are concerned with veneers and what lies beneath them: Atkinson’s landscapes present Disneyland Tokyo as seen through the eyes of Joshua Reynolds; Northedge’s canvases place stars, film canisters and voluptuous female silhouettes alongside smeared, vaguely Thomas Ruff-esque images of cosmetic surgeons and nude flesh; Wicks paints architectural geometries eaten away at by speckles, veins and visual noise.

Each, then, has his own methods, subjects and preoccupations, but the results work so well together that, at least at first, it can be difficult to distinguish which canvases are whose.

This is in part because all three artists have chosen to address cultural constructedness via canvases that announce themselves as having been carefully composed and achieved: varnish polygons are juxtaposed with matte shapes, dribbly striations are intercut with stark diagonals in such a way that you can see where the masking tape has been stripped away.

That’s not to say that debunking and decrying artificiality is a priority for any of the three. Atkinson’s Simulacrum references Baudrillard and Northedge’s subject matter is pretty Ballardian but nothing here really seems all that irate about modern culture’s Disneyfied vacuity.

If Post-Modernism was about either celebrating or demonising the mediascape, then these paintings embody the bittersweet and altogether more ‘now’ approach of enjoying what kicks and consolations pop culture can offer while accepting that it’s fundamentally empty. A Sky TV subscription might not change your life, but at least you can drown out the artists drinking at the opening across the street.

Ultramegaok is on at The Framery, Academy Buildings, Fanshaw Street, N1 6LQ and open 12.00 pm – 7.00 pm, Thursday – Sunday until the 20th December. For more information visit their Art Rabbit post.

Zoe Troughton

As memories sometimes surface, evoked by a smell or a sound, so ephemeral impressions and allusions emerge from the paintings of three rising British artists; David Northedge, Andy Wicks and Matthew Atkinson. This experiencing, remembering and representing struck me as pivotal to Ultramegaok, a compact exhibition housed in a disused Hoxton office.

What was once an office, now reinvented with white wooden floor, white brick walls and recycled chandeliers, provided an intimate yet sleek gallery space. The artists’ retelling of recalled space and ideas, dislocated from their origins and transcribed into paint, was itself displayed in a translated space. And although the concepts and consequent works were conceived independently, the exhibition held together neatly, seamlessly.

For me, three threads tied the work and its location together; size, layers and reinvention. In the case of David Northedge, loud and large canvases portrayed layers of images piled on top of one another, like an x-ray view of magazines sprawled on a waiting room table. The closer I looked the deeper into the painting I saw. Sharp, geometric lines, blasting comic book-like stars, silhouetted pin-ups, fragmented images of plastic surgery, and pixelated patches, give the impression of flicking through the assortment of magazines with urgency; our kaleidoscopic fix fulfilled.

Andy Wicks’ work on the other hand exuded a feeling of permanency and duration; the effects of time and nature on man’s temporal architecture. The rusty dribbles, reminiscent of a ship whose layers of marine blue paint have worn through to reveal the vulnerable iron core, still seem to be spreading. His paintings appear to bleed off the canvases, the subject too vast to fit in. The weight and linear precision of the blue greys feed the weeping movement of the backgrounds, succumbing to nature and to gravity, draining downwards.

Matthew Atkinson depicts vague, dream-like scapes, where scale is uprooted, and we are transported to a land of tree stumps, toadstools and miniature houses, or was it giant trees? His use of soft focus conjures the feeling of recapturing a dream, which then quickly disappears again in a thick fog. He addresses ‘Disneyfication’ and the reinvention of reality, however one is not left feeling pleasantly nostalgic about extraordinary fairytale fantasies, rather one is released into a more ominous and unsettling encounter.

Ultramegaok merges three distinct styles and agendas in one recycled space; it was a fascinating collection of revisited personal perceptions. Re- as a prefix indicates return to a previous condition, but displaced as I am in time and location, an attempt to recall my true experience at the gallery will always remain clouded by the passing of time and the memory’s inclination to fall away.

Exhibition Shots

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 14 December, 2009