Andrew Grassie: Looking for something that doesn't exist.

4 Nov 2022 – 15 Jan 2023

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00

Free admission

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Maureen Paley: Studio M

England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Shoreditch High Street or Bethnal Green
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Maureen Paley is pleased to present the fourth exhibition at the gallery by Andrew Grassie and his first at Studio M.

Grassie’s meticulously detailed egg tempera paintings shape the observer’s experience of looking and interpreting images. His latest group of paintings are informed by repeated visits to the Scottish Highlands over the last two years, specifically to the fabled area around Loch Ness and nocturnal walks within the area. His observations capture the placid waters, outbuildings and forests around the loch and are imbued with the intricacies of solitude found in city architecture as experienced under pools of artificial light. Working in a deceptively monochromatic palette, Grassie overlays thinly applied veils of complementary colours to achieve a close tonal range that floats between the sensation of day and night, inside and outside - illuminating and obscuring from within. His tightly framed compositions confuse an easily recognised sense of perception, time, and location with a desire to question the reliability of living memory and the readability of the repurposed image.

“A man looks over the loch with expectant attention. He scans the impermeable grey surface through his binoculars, waiting in vain for some extraordinary event to take place.

This is the scene from the authorless photograph from Loch Ness I’ve had pinned to my studio wall for several years. It dawned on me that this man and I had a lot in common. He was patiently investing his time and attention scanning the opaque grey waters in the hope that there might be something there and that he might be witness to it. Perhaps this was not so different from a painter like me, reproducing photographs, hoping that in that very act of duplication something surplus may appear.

If indeed we were both searching for something that didn’t exist, it was also true that we suspended our disbelief to revel in the act of looking, deliberately prolonging this ritual beyond that which was strictly necessary.”

Andrew Grassie, 2022

Andrew Grassie lives and works in London. Selected solo exhibitions include Still Frame, Esther Schipper, Berlin, Germany (2020); Maureen Paley, London, UK (2017); Fabrication, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2016); Andrew Grassie: Collected Works, Rennie Museum, Vancouver, Canada (2012); Archive, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2010); Andrew Grassie: Painting as Document, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, UK (2009), New Hang, Art Now, Tate Britain, London, UK (2005).

Selected group exhibitions include A Century of the Artist’s Studio 1920–2020, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2022); Ordinary Realities, Salone Banca di Bologna – Palazzo De’ Toschi, Bologna, Italy (2020); Spring 2019: Collected Works, Rennie Museum, Vancouver, Canada (2019); Phase II – Imagining Architecture, institut supérieur des arts de Toulouse, Toulouse, France (2018); Wundercamera, Telfair Museum, Savannah, Georgia, USA (2017); Proposition for an Infinite Garden, Government Art Collection, London, UK (2014); Building Blocks: Contemporary Works from the Collection, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, USA (2011); The John Kobal Award, The Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2009).

Grassie's work is represented in selected collections including Tate, London; Government Art Collection, London; Rennie Collection, Vancouver, and Goetz Collection, Munich. 

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Andrew Grassie


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