“Bartley + Company Art is pleased to present this new exhibition by Andre Hemer produced over the past few months during his Rita Angus residency in Wellington.
Swag, Smushing, and Nicki Minaj is a new and distinct body of work representing both a continuation and departure from his earlier work. Certainly Andre’s tradition of distinct titles is continued and this title serves to provide a way into the work. Nicki Minaj is a young highly staged hiphop star; swag may refer to what we carry with us and for a painter such as Andre part of that is the history of painting, smushing, a lovely made up word, sounds like smooching. Thus a rich combination of imagery and ideas are suggested and the paintings remix the artist’s response to his world and this moment in time.
What also continues is Andre’s ongoing interest in technology and the computer. He is interested in translations from one medium or technology to another and in the spaces in between, the slippages, mistakes and imperfect representations. However this new body of work marks a departure in that he is no longer making a strict translation from the computer image to a hand-made painting. These paintings are an amalgamation of imagery from lots of different sources, with the computer acting as a filter and tool rather than a sketching pad – with the outcome not known at the outset. The computer allows the artist to explore post-industrial digital image creation playing with the tessellation, replication, distortion and deletion of form. The eight paintings in the exhibition – with the reduction in scale and the use of paper – are also a response to living and working in the Rita Angus cottage in Thorndon.
2011 has been quite a year for Andre: in addition to the Rita Angus residency, he won the Bold Horizons National Contemporary Art Award with a painting based on a QR (quick response) code, a new body of work first shown in a solo exhibition at the Physics Room in Christchurch at the beginning of the year; he also won a commission for a large public wall work for the foyer of the South British building in Auckland. All of this comes on top of study for a PhD at Sydney University. Since completing his Masters at the University of Canterbury in 2006, Andre has won several international artist residencies and exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and in Australia, Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom.”
The works from the exhibition: