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Forecast: Stephen Andrews

Forecast: Stephen Andrews

January 21–March 5, 2006

Curated by Sarah Stanners

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Salah J. Bachir has been an ardent supporter of Stephen Andrews’s work for over ten years now. Selected from Bachir’s collection, the largest private collection of art by Andrews, this exhibition brings works in a variety of media (oil, latex, crayon, silkscreen print, and animation) into conversation with each other and the viewer. Themes of war and weather emerge in the works, intersecting in their physical appearance and in their subtle suggestion of subjects that forecast mortality and question the storm of images that we negotiate daily.

Our experience of both war and weather is akin to being affected by the sublime—we often cannot predict or fathom the force at hand. Andrews’s Friendly Fire, 2005, captures our attention with what looks like beach balls along a sunny shoreline but is actually a bloody scene of the results of war. Using a method of reproduction that translates actual photographic or film media into a handmade simulation of the four-colour separation process of printing, Andrews’s meditation on the visual takes us to the very edge of the sublime by encouraging our presumption of safety; all the while we are, in fact, facing the terrible.

Andrews employs a level of abstraction in order to bring us in touch with the horror—a requirement that Edmund Burke pointed out in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757): “To make any thing very terrible, obscurity seems in general to be necessary. When we know the full extent of any danger, when we can accustom our eyes to it, a great deal of the apprehension vanishes.” Andrews’s work is sensitive to this condition, recognizing that we can become apathetic when bombarded with imagery. In his many works that deal with the war in Iraq Andrews is trying to create a pause where we might realize the impact of a pivotal moment. By obscuring the image, the artist persuades us to consider its reflections more carefully.

Conversation

Tuesday September 12, 2006
Featuring Stephen Andrews and Alex Nagel
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Curator’s tour with Sarah Stanners

Sunday September 24, 2006, 2pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Media Coverage


Title Image: Stephen Andrews, Safe-10-negative, xerox on latex, 50cm x 40cm, 1993.