Mr and Mrs Andrews refers directly to Gainsborough’s 1750 masterpiece in order to excavate layer-by-layer how ten contemporary painters think. Painting and its history is central to most painters practices, however, it is interesting to understand just how they use the past in their work. For Mr and Mrs Andrews, we are setting out to reveal what is usually more opaque, a methodology.
Given a wide, yet narrow brief - a painting redolent with interpretations, speculations, and material potentiality, a painting made at the cusp of an artist's burgeoning individuality (Gainsborough was only 21), tight as a drum, yet threatening to burst at the seams with barely contained emotion - what will the ten painters in the exhibition choose as a starting point? What will they react to and what will they ignore? And how will they build their response into a layered piece of work, with each layer signaling their priorities? How will they infuse their individual weltanschauung into their painting, whilst retaining something of the original framework? Indeed, to what extent will they strive to keep the newlyweds in sight at all? In this show Mr and Mrs Andrews and their strange environment are acting as a palimpsest, pushing the artists to reveal something as they overlay the original with their unique sensibilities, to reveal an attitude, not in words, but in action'