Andy Wicks Paints Blog

Collectible – Zeitgeist Art Projects 18 – 28th April

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 9 April, 2012

I have a couple of new paintings in this exhibition which also features a whole heap of artists doing interesting things right now. My contributions are part of what will now be known as the ‘Hell and High Water’ series, an expanded body of work continuing the format of my 2011’s piece Irene (below). The images of Hell and High Water come from what were initially my photographic outtakes from Thames walk, structures which I discovered at high tide when the water level obscured the majority of its form. When sorting through these images I realized the abstraction caused by the tide changed the previously functional structures into odd legless stumps, seemingly no longer rooted to the bank but floating just proud of the surface.

Irene (Hell and High Water), 2011, Oil on canvas,
25.5 x 20.5 cm

A high-profile inaugural exhibition of 67 promising, mid-career and established International Zeitgeist artists from across all disciplines; including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and print from £50-£500. These artists in an act of generosity and accessibility have made their works available for affordable prices so that art collectors old and new are able to invest in some of the most promising and established collectible artists whom normally usually sell upwards of £500.

Curated by Rosalind Davis & Annabel Tilley

Zeitgeist Project Space
ASC Bond House
Goodwood Road
New Cross
SE14 6BL

Guy Allott, Iain Andrews, Edwina Ashton, Paul Benjamins, George Bolster, Kate Bowen, Andrew Bracey, Tom Butler, Ben Coode-Adams, Emma Cousin, Graham Crowley, Rosalind Davis, David Dipre, Sarah Douglas, Freya Douglas Morris, Annabel Dover, Charlie Dutton, Karl England, Alyson Helyer, Andrew Hewish, Jack Hutchinson, Peter Jones, Nick Kaplony, David Kefford, Sharon Leahy-Clark, Simon Leahy-Clark, Cathy Lomax, Wayne Lucas, Fiona MacDonald, EJ Major, Amy McKenny, Nadege Meriau, Marion Michell, Clare Mitten, Amy Moffat, Kate Murdoch, Elizabeth Murton, Michaela Nettell, Charlotte Norwood, Wieland Payer, Alex Pearl, Edd Pearman, Gaia Persico, Kate Pickering, Chantelle Purcell, Giulia Ricci, Mark Scott-Wood, Alli Sharma, Gordon Shrigley, Lisa Snook, Emily Speed, Corinna Spencer, Melanie Stidolph, Boa Swindler, Freddie Robins, Annabel Tilley, Virginia Verran, Jenny Wiener, Rich White, Andy Wicks, Rachel Wilberforce, Chiara Williams, Sarah Williams, Jonny Williamson, Jo Wilmot, James Wright, Peter Wylie.

Londonist Article

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 8 January, 2012

The Londonist have written a small article on my work as part of their London artists series, which looks at artists who take the city as inspiration. You can see the article here

Recent text – Colin Perry, July 2011

Posted in Florence Trust, Writings by Andy Wicks on 29 August, 2011

Andy Wicks’ paintings depict objects that might initially appear otherworldly or imagined, but are in fact real structures for mooring boats that can be seen – should you look – dotted along the River Thames. Existing some place in the no-man’s land between improvisation and ordinary functionality, they appear alternately too decrepit for use, or else modern, robust and sturdy. These mooring stations are called ‘dolphins’, an appellation that seems arbitrary given their utter lack of physical resemblance to the marine creature. Also seemingly arbitrary is their ad hoc composition and materiality: they can be built out of anything from pressure-treated pine to hardwood, reinforced concrete, or steel girders and tubes. Here, form follows function – but there is also a unity to their robust armature and tide-washed weathering, rusty iron, and agglutinated patches of algae fronds. Wicks’ paintings have a striking figure-ground contrast: the backgrounds are often rendered with a muddy-watery effect created by mixing resins, thinned oil paints and other mediums, which the artist agitates into eddies of bare canvas and coagulated paint – a process that echoes the flow of the river itself.

Colin Perry, 2011 Published in Florence Trust 2011 Catalogue

Colin is a freelance art writer based in London and writes for Art Monthly, Frieze, ArtReview, Modern Painters amongst others.

Andy Wicks, Irene, 25.5 x 20.5 cm, Oil on canvas, 2011

Andy Wicks ‘On Painting’

Posted in Writings by Andy Wicks on 18 June, 2011

I wrote this article recently for Rise Art which was first published on their website, it describes details on my practice, influences and techniques. My Art Basel report will follow later in the week.

My paintings are worked on in groups, each one is made up of two distinct layers. Both layers are painted with oil paint, but both do different things. I like systems and order, and creating defined rules to work by. I explore the city with a camera, then reference it on the canvas.

My influences

Im a fan of German abstraction, as seen in artists such as Albert Oehlen whose use of chaos could end up looking as a dark oily mess, but he somehow always makes it work. I think I respond to elements of visual discord which simultaneously please and repel the viewer. I’ve also been looking at Gert & Uwe Tobias’ woodcuts recently, which sit between dark fairytale narratives and graphic geometry. The woodcuts are used to produce one-off pieces and, as such, have a painterly feel, with the imperfections and glitches from the process unashamedly on display.

'Gezeichnete Hunde' by Albert Oehlen (2005), oil on canvas

The research

I explore the city with my camera to find oddities and intrigue. I find myself drawn to the materiality of objects especially industrial sites and those where function outweighs design. I particularly look for sights where weather and pollution have worn surfaces down letting mold or rust set in. My current series has taken me to the River Thames where I have been studying ‘dolphins’, or mooring constructions. Objects which have mostly long lost their purpose now sit slowly being worn by the tide eventually to be reclaimed by the riverbed. So far I’ve covered about 50 miles from Kew in the west to Thamesmead out east. While the motivation for doing this was originally to get photographs to feed my paintings, I’ve actually really enjoyed learning about London through the riverside architecture. It’s fascinating to see how people live and the varied levels of wealth, with much of the social housing now turned into expensive modern flats the riverfront is starting to lose its individual character.

Image by the River Thames, Woolwich Arsenal

The process

I make my paintings in a two-stage process which when viewed separately, could be identified as works by two different artists. At the start of a piece I’ll be moving round the canvas laid flat on the studio floor, smudging resin into the weave of the canvas with gloves so it pools over the surface. Then pouring thinned oil from jars, tilting and adjusting the position of the canvas to create the background.

Painting ground, resin & thinned oil paint

Once dry I paint the foreground structure that sits on the resin ground. The foreground is painted with the canvas flat on a table and in contrast to the background is painted carefully with fine brushes to create the straight architectural lines. Its the layering of messy action painting technique and controlled graphical detail which interests me and perhaps gives me renewed energy having time working in both head spaces. While the resin backgrounds reference process painting and a wealth of abstract art history, they can also draw comparisons to rapid flowing water or weather systems.

Andy's studio

The titles

The names of my paintings come from the Atlantic list of Hurricane names where each storm has its name taken from a list of alternating male and female names. The naming of each painting imbues the structure a gender and reinforces the personification suggested by the portrait orientation canvas and composition. While also referencing the weathering of the dolphins and the eddies that appear in the painted grounds.

'Lisa', one of the limited edition prints that Andy Wicks has produced in collaboration with Rise Art.

Limited edition prints

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 18 March, 2011

I’m pleased to announced the release of my first Limited Edition Prints which I have produced in collaboration with Rise Art. Given the opportunity to create two new pieces exclusively for the edition run I decided to embrace the printing process to achieve the sort of perfection usually impossible for a painter dealing with a wet and reactionary paint process. I have previously found myself spending time trying to recreate a particular finish with limited success. Each piece was painted with oils on paper with the foreground and background scanned and superimpose together. I decided to use the same background on each to challenge the idea of the pieces every existing in a form other than the finished composed print, through the printing process the works are completed. Both prints feature a Thames dolphin (mooring construction) which have been the subject of my recent series of works, both feature a metal Tripod form showing signs of age while still being distinctly different.

The sharpness of the veins of paint in the background flow beneath the image rooting the structure to a deep and rich earthy surround. While the central image reveals the brush marks and flicks of paint giving it the illusion of standing proud of the paper, this creates a similar contrast to my paintings which have a deep gloss background with a flat matt central image.

Details for both editions : Paper Size: 450mm x 600mm, Image: 373mm x 525mm, Archival Pigment Print on 315 gsm Cotton Rag paper with hand torn edges, Edition of 25

To purchase an Edition or find out more about Rise Art and the prints click here – Lisa & Matthew

Lisa (2011) Archival Pigment Print on Cotton Rag paper

Matthew (2011) Archival Pigment Print on Cotton Rag paper

Thames Riverside Walks

Posted in Writings by Andy Wicks on 13 February, 2011

My current working practice comes from collecting images from the man made landscape, these forms have been set along the bank of the Thames and while I’m fascinated by their shapes and construction I also have a close affinity with the river itself. As a form of research I have been going on long walks along stretches of the river to take photos but also to learn more about the lay of the city and its flux. The architecture, history and potential for redevelopment is clear to see wherever your standing. Much to the west of Vauxhall has already been turned into new river side apartments, Butler’s Wharf and the central stretch of the southbank has kept its old facade but seen Starbucks and the chains take over at street level. While areas on the approach to Deptford Creek are showing signs of decay but the developers are not far away. Whatever is happening around the river bank, the one constant is the river itself, it continues to have an air of tranquility and open space, the perfect place to explore and clear your head.

I’ve started to document my walks on Googlemaps –