Andy Wicks Paints Blog

Exhibition openings and fast approaching deadlines

Posted in Writings by Andy Wicks on 8 March, 2010

I’ve neglected the blog a bit recently, with two group show openings last week and new work to complete for a solo show being installed on Sunday it been a busy month.

The show at Southall went really well, at the opening the huge space neither felt over hung by works from the 40+ artists or too sparse, even my 3 large paintings (up to  5 x 6ft ) which constantly get in the way in the studio seemed to shrink once hung from the mezzanine floor overlooking the rest of the space. I’m kind of glad a space of this scale isn’t the norm as otherwise I’d probably be creating 15 x 10 ft pieces just to make an statement.

The Middle of Nowhere installation view

The Middle of Nowhere installation view

I’ve yet to see the Police and Thieves show in New Cross but will be invigilating at the space on Sunday 21st if anyone wants to come along to look round and have a chat.

Over the last month I’ve been working on 3 pieces for the Medcalf show as all my other work is tied up in Southall/New Cross. The thought of producing new paintings in a short space of time was daunting with a number of walls to fill. As soon as the dates for the exhibition was confirmed I rushed to the studio and stretched up the only piece off canvas I had spare, without knowing the size to get a stretcher made in time I stapled it straight onto the wall, priming with 2 coats of acrylic primer followed by a black/brown wash all in a matter of hours. On the 2nd day I managed to finish the ground with a thicker dark wash consisting of paynes grey, titanium white & a bit of raw umber, these were applied from the tube by palette knife to different areas of the canvas and thinning down with zest-it to get create a wash.

1st wash

The thing I like about working this way it that it leaves areas of thick paint and change in consistency to the thinned washes, where the zest-it flows past the thicker oil it erodes the paint leaving organic shapes.

I took a photo a while back of a building near City Road, Old Street which has always intrigued me, I think it’s some sort of power substation which has a really iconic but decaying look to it. With a strong form it jumped out as the right image to use for these works, especially as they’ll be on show less than a mile away. I had 2 smaller canvases – 100 x 100 cm and 80 x 80 cm which had been worked on numerous times without going anywhere so I lay some washes on these, one brown and the other more of a creamy white tone. The larger of the two had some angled stripes worked into the white acrylic primer with a dull linen colour acrylic paint and worked well as an undercurrent to the chaos of the overlaid paint. The 80 x 80 cm had elements of pink coming through from my day over Christmas of laying down baby pink under painting which appears through the wash giving the canvas more of a weathered look. For the first time I’ve returned to the same image for each of the 3 pieces with a front-on view and one from each side which while the colour and shape connects them together each reveals a bit more of the building while obscuring something else.

Structure detail

To finish off the show I will be hanging 6 of the 10 x 14″ pink canvases which I’ve been working on since Christmas, each has now moved away from the pink but stayed with loud, bright colours this time staying purely abstract with intersecting diagonals obscuring the flow of the paint beneath. Each retains some of pink ground but has complimented it with their own strong individual compositions and colours. It’s going to interesting to see the contrast between the larger architectural works and these small brighter abstract paintings when hung together.

After a few minor tweaks tomorrow they’ll be done and all the paintings will be wrapped and readied for a short van trip from Bethnal Green to Clerkenwell. Looking at the new paintings particular the largest canvas all things considered I’m very happy with them and who knows, if there wasn’t such a tight deadline they may have continued evolving or even overworked. They work as individual paintings, while together offering up subtle differences, a ghostly silhouette of a structure floating among dreary colourscapes intersected by dark brown diagonals as if the landscape has been obscured by prison bars or a half open blind. Is the viewer locked out of the painting or is the painting is locked out of our world?

Bonnie (south)

You can make your own mind up from Monday 16th March running until Friday 30th April at Medcalf, Exmouth Market.

Departure Gallery, The Old Police Station and Medcalf shows

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 25 February, 2010

I have 3 exhibitions coming up in March, 2 of which open on Friday 5th March. The first, The Middle of Nowhere with the Departure Gallery is in a huge warehouse in Southall featuring over 40 artists, I have 11 piece which makes up a large body of work from last year and is the first time it has all been seen together. The show is only on for 5 days but is one to catch, on the private view night theres a free taxi  from Southall Station to the venue.

Also opening on Friday 5th is Police and Thieves at the Old Police Station, New Cross. A converted Police Station which is now a gallery, studios and cafe. Fittingly my painting Bill, a portrait of a policeman taken from a news cutting of London G20 riots will be on display. The gallery uses the former interview, cells and Police gym as part of the exhibition space.

Then from 15th March to 30th April I will be showing a selection of new works at Medcalf restaurant and bar on Exmouth Market, Islington. Details TBC