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'The making of the painting', Andrew Grassie

Photo-realistic painting of a room interior with bookshelves and working space

Tempera on paper, 12 x 18 cm

Prizewinner

'I’m sitting at a desktop trying to submit myself to writing this. The desk is the one in the painting: a small tempera painting, the sort that has pre-occupied me for several years now.

The work shows the actual space in which I made the painting, including a tiny representation of the painting itself: an impossibility in reality. A related work shows the painting itself being framed, and another the painting being photographed. This relates to earlier works showing the gallery space in which the painting is hung, including the actual painting itself, where the work becomes a record of the show as well as a participant in it.

My self-reflexive stance originated from the problem of what to paint, or rather how to justify it to myself. The technique of copying a photograph, rather than implying an interest in the ‘photo-real’, was simply a paring down to the bare bones of a practice. What emerged out of this discipline was surprisingly expansive and referential. I am as much interested in the differences that occur in the ‘look’ of my paintings from the photographs, and what this implies, than any proximity. They seem now to refer to the ‘silent gaze’ of much 17th-century Dutch art and to certain forms of minimalism more than to photo-realism.'

Biography

Andrew Grassie was born in Edinburgh in 1966. He studied at St. Martin’s School of Art in 1984-88 and the Royal College of Art in 1988-90. Solo shows include Jason & Rhodes Gallery London 1997 and 2000, Mobile Home Gallery London 2000, 2001 and 2003, and Paul Morris Gallery New York in 2003. Recent group shows include East International in Norwich 2001, Realistic Means Drawing Center New York in 2002, Yes! I am very far from home Wolverhampton Art Gallery and tour 2003, Tonight Studio Voltaire London 2003 and Edge of the Real Whitechapel Art Gallery 2004.