Overview

We are pleased to present ‘A New Nature’, an exhibition of new paintings by the British artist Andy Harper.

At first sight, Andy Harper’s paintings look like scenes of dense undergrowth, packed with organic forms and writhing tendrils. They could be grand botanical studies of exotic flora, or enlargements of microscopic samples. The paintings, however, represent nothing in nature. They are instead pure painterly abstraction: arrangements of myriad different ways of making marks with oil paint, rhythmically repeated and embedded into logical frameworks to give them structure. The result is a new iteration of nature that is synthetic, virtual, and man-made, a visualisation of human expression as filtered through the impassive order of an algorithm.

Historically, botanical painting as practised by artists such as Marianne North or the Bauer Brothers removed the organic sample from its context and presented it in analytical isolation. Andy’s paintings hint at this tradition but immerse the viewer in a profusion of detail so intense it can be overwhelming, redolent of the information overload that defines 21st century existence. The sense of rhythmic, almost tantric mark-making embedded in an underlying pattern has echoes of eastern Mandala painting, albeit Andy’s works have a stronger element of individual expression through the gestural mark. His colours are organic, some the muted greens and browns of temperate climates, other the vivid signalling hues of deepwater organisms, exotic flowers, and birds of paradise. Within this context, the marks become suggestive of the unusual inhabitants of a thicket or a reef: looping tendrils, hairy caterpillars, mollusc shells, coral branches and the translucent floral forms of jellyfish.

This new natural world echoes the networks, scaleability, and complexity of the 21st century, articulated as something seemingly familiar but nonetheless alien and otherworldly. It is a space where attraction and entrapment act with equal force, microcosmically detailed and endlessly sprawling, with a textural density that lends the paintings an air of the exotic. Like glimpses into a virtual hinterland, they call out to be explored and discovered.

Artworks

Andy Harper | Green Ride
Andy Harper
Green Ride
Andy Harper | The Wisdom of Crowds
Andy Harper | Antalgic
Andy Harper
Antalgic
Andy Harper | Coanda
Andy Harper
Coanda
Andy Harper | A New Nature
Andy Harper
A New Nature
Andy Harper | Saturos
Andy Harper
Saturos
Andy Harper | Slice
Andy Harper
Slice
Andy Harper | Sun Fish
Andy Harper
Sun Fish
Andy Harper | Olaian
Andy Harper
Olaian
Andy Harper | Agorius
Andy Harper
Agorius
Andy Harper | Condurrow
Andy Harper
Condurrow

Video

Installation Images

A New Nature

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