Andy Harper’s paintings deal with the fruits of labour in the shadow of contradictory forces. On one side they are about the immediate process of painting, the mechanical, almost automated act of laying down mark after mark on a surface. On the other hand, they are subject to long-term strategy and planning, each mark developed over time and embedded into a pre-designed structure that provides an architectural framework for the paintings. While this framework may be logically ordered, the marks themselves are organic entities, forming a broad visual library that seems to have taken on its own life, growing and developing through repetition and recombination in each new work. The paintings act almost like a Petri-dish for the culturing of this visual language, and a greenhouse for its cultivation. The forms may seem organic, but on close inspection they are unrelated to anything the natural world has to offer. Rather they are like a man-made form of nature, generated from compulsive repetition and subjective reinterpretations, a world that has somehow grown past the point of offspring to become its own independent entity.
Andy Harper studied Fine Art at Brighton Polytechnic (BA 90–93) and the Royal College of Art (MA 93-95). After co-founding NotCut studios in London (1996) he also studied Visual Culture at Middlesex University (MA 97-99). He has exhibited in the US, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, Sweden, Italy, France and the UK. He is represented by Patrick Heide Contemporary Art in London. Harper has taught in many institutions nationally and internationally, and held posts teaching on Fine Art courses at Central St. Martins, The City Lit and is currently a Senior Lecturer on the MFA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths in London.