Andrew Bryant’s extraordinary work circles around “questions of fantasy, dependency and lack”.
Words by Mercedes Smith
Informed as much by his training as a psychoanalyst as his lifelong engagement with art, Andrew’s work brings together what he calls “the narcissism of wishful thinking with the disappointment of experience”.
He has an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College London, recently graduated from Newlyn School of Art’s One Year Professional Mentoring Course, and in 2021 he was shortlisted for Wells Art Contemporary and longlisted for the Jackson’s Painting Prize. He is also an accomplished writer, having written for a-n magazine, a highly respected publication committed to the support of contemporary art. As if those stellar achievements weren’t enough, he has now been nominated for the 2022 Contemporary British Painting Prize, putting his work firmly on the radar of serious art collectors.
The level of detail in his paintings and drawings is extraordinary, almost photographic, except that the meaning and presence they exude marks them out as deeply considered works on canvas and paper. Gathering from books and internet searches, Andrew transforms found photographs into seductive monochrome oil paintings. His images invariably contain a component of staging, of conscious presentation — a reference to the practice of painting itself. Whether it is engineless toy planes, shelves bolted to the floor, or empty and static trolleys, his subjects are in some way inadequate, or simply stuck, longing for the fulfilment of their purpose. The lengths to which Andrew goes in pursuit of flawlessness are excessive and he can spend months on a single painting, striving for a perfection which, he says, in its “very failure [..] articulates gesturally the central paradox of [my] work, namely the elusive potential of human and artistic desire.”
Left | Untitled (UFO), 2021—22, oil on canvas, 120cm x 90cm
Right | Andrew Bryant
Left | Untitled, 2021, oil on linen 60cm x 70cm
Middle | High Wire, 2017, pencil on paper, 50cm x 35cm Right | Fool, 2016, pencil on paper, 21cm x 21cm
Top Left | My black ball, 2009—2012, black plasticine, 27cm diameter (approx)
Top Right | Untitled (silver trolley) 2019, oil on linen, 50 x 60cm
Bottom Left | Untitled (spooky trolley), 2018, oil on canvas covered board, 30cm x 42cm
Bottom Right | Untitled (spooky trolley) 2018, oil on canvas, 36 x 46cm
Left | Untitled (trolley), 2021, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm
Middle | Untitled (jet), 2021, oil on canvas, 110cm x 85cm
Right | Untitled (glider), 2022, oil on canvas, 100cm x 120cm
Copyright ownership of the original photographic image/s is currently being sought.
Andrew lives and works in Cornwall and his work is held in private collections in the UK and abroad.