In 1978, Lord created a body of work whose shapes and surfaces were based on the fall of light onto different shaped maquettes. As if drawing from life, or painting a landscape en plein air, this process recorded his observations in three dimensions. By 1979, he began to think of these groups of maquettes as works in themselves and showed them in an exhibition with Art & Project in Amsterdam. With these pieces Lord found ceramics’ ability to take on the commanding dimensions of painting.
Emerging out of this practice, Thirty Pieces. Sorrow. (for T), (1996) incorporated various vessel-like sculptures, and two ceramic maps (one of Manhattan and another of the United States) across which he wrote the title from one side to the other, as if stretching the expanse from east to west. During the AIDS epidemic in New York City, Lord made several works that had their source in death and illness; with this work he applied emotion to the vocabulary of shapes, making them affectively, as well as formally, resonant. While the color of the thirty composing pieces may evoke mourning and funeral pomp, black is also a color that absorbs all light—everything—giving him a place for the variety and complexity of his feelings. From Sorrow came a series of related sculptures: biting, in which Lord bit into the surface of the clay, breathing, which he molded against his chest, smelling, an impression made by his nose and nostrils, tasting, made by his tongue, listening, his ear, swallowing, pressed against his neck. These vessels became a compendium of his senses and embodiment. After his practice of tracing light on maquettes, these works manifest his experiences directly: “I discovered in making a work with sorrow, the work becomes sorrow and stands for that emotion, just as a work about breathing, made by pressing clay against my chest, can become breathing.” For Lord, “Sorrow marked a turning point because it was the moment emotions, the body, objects, places and memory became central, and I discovered anything could be subject matter. My work became about things identifiably personal, corporeal and autobiographical.”
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo to mark the occasion of Andrew Lord’s gift in honor of Adriaan van Ravesteijn and Geert van Beijeren, founders of Art & Project (1968-2001) in Amsterdam and Slootdorp.
Andrew Lord was born in 1950 in Rochdale, England, is based in New York City and also works in Europe. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at international institutions including The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Camden Arts Center, London; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede; Milton Keynes Gallery, England; and Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica. He has also been included in group exhibitions including: “Atelier 15,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; “Westkunst. Heute,” Museen der Stadt, Köln; “Anderer Leute Kunst,” Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld; the 1995 Whitney Biennial; “Site and Insight,” MoMA PS1, New York; “The Third Mind,” Palais de Tokyo; and “Artists and Poets,” Secession, Vienna. In 2014 Andrew Lord was resident of the Cité International des Arts Paris; in 2015 he participated in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. In the Fall of 2017 an exhibition of bronze sculptures will be presented on the Bluhm Family Terrace of The Art Institute of Chicago.