Andy Mansfield - Associate Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts
Collectif Anglais ArtResearch Paintings
Group exhibition with Graham Coulter-Smith, Andy Mansfield, Greg Palmer, Russell Richards, Julian Konczak and Maurice Owen, 2006
Collectif d'Artistes Anglais was a group exhibition curated by Alaine Smitz (Belgium) and Maurice Owen (England). My submission included two large scale and two medium sized portrait paintings and two smaller paintings of organic and animal forms. My portrait series is informed by research into the intertextual history of photography and painting, which has informed both painting and photography since the inception of the latter. One of the ways in which I engage with this debate is to deliberately juxtapose the often-banal nature of snapshot portrait photography, with delicately painted simulacrums that belie the apparent banality of the original image. My research also consists of mapping painterly discourse onto the rhetoric of police and passport photographs. The Frankfurt School theorists referred to this type of photography as the 'administered world'. The portrait series was primarily concerned with investigating new conceptual approaches to portraiture. This objective relates to Gerhardt Richter and the 'un-expressionism' of Thomas Ruff's passport-like photographic portraits and Andy Warhol's concept of 'plastic people'. In the course of my research I developed new techniques for applying paint to canvas, by first creating thin black and white paintings and then glazing them with colour, as if hand-colouring an old photograph. My earlier animal paintings, also shown in this exhibition, were informed by a similar research strategy to that of the portrait series: they also embody an intersection of the rhetoric of painting and photography. But rather than using actual photographs as source material, the animal-like forms emerge out of a process that involves multiple layering and erasing akin to automatic or hallucinatory painterly processes. The finished paintings are smooth and devoid of brush strokes, which gives them a distinctively 'photographic' appearance.
The exhibition was curated by August Hoviele, the gallery director Galerie S 65. 12 paintings were selected from a series of 16. The portraits are constructed from unknown faces selected from magazines and the internet, which are then first reproduced as 6x4 ft black and white monochromes, before acquiring colour values. The choice of face is intentionally bland in order to draw the viewers attention to the mesmeric qualities of the paint medium, which then encourages the viewer to eidetically construct the missing personality. This was my first one-person exhibition with this gallery although it has shown my work on two previous occasions in the context of European Art Fairs. The exhibition provided me with an opportunity to show a large group of recent portraits, 3 of which are now in private German collections. Galerie S65 is an established European gallery that shows artists from Europe and the USA. It also has a long working relationship with the internationally renowned London based gallery, Annelly Juda.
A group exhibition of international painting, curated by Diane Howse, Whitehall Waterfront, Leeds City Council 2005
'Appearance' was a group exhibition curated by Diane Howse. I exhibited three large-scale portrait paintings, Untitled No. 452, Untitled No. 456, and Untitled No. 458. The catalogue introduction was written by Iwona Blazwick (Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London). The exhibition was part of the launch of Whitehall Waterfront, a complex of 193 contemporary apartments on the banks of the river Aire, in the centre of Leeds. The newly opened building was transformed into a temporary exhibition space. The event was sponsored by Leeds City Council, Harewood Estate and K W Linfoot plc. The catalogue contains a text by Diane Howse in which she notes that: Mansfield's portraits are representations of the female face but the image is initially derived from the media and the subjects are anonymous. The women depicted are effectively sales props in their original context and are sought out for their neutral and formal qualities However, through making a painting of beauty out of their suspended presence, the artist invests them with a personality and a role that is powerful unsettling and unquestionably also alien. (Howse 2005: 36) Selected to exhibit with nineteen other leading artists: George Barber, Richard Billingham, Jason Brooks, Thomas A Clark, Stuart Croft, Michael Curran, Susan Derges, Dryden Goodwin, Paul Graham, Paul Hodgson, Diane Howse, Tom Hunter, Sophie Laschelles, Neeta Madahar, Melanie Manchot, Alain Miller, Eugene Palmer, Kate Scrivener, Gavin Turk
Andrew Mansfield Recent Paintings
Solo Exhibition, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London, 2005
This exhibition consisted of a series of approximately ten large oil paintings, based on portrait photographs culled from magazines, the Internet and similar mass media sources. All the portraits were of women facing the viewer with impassive or banal expressions. The paintings are painted in an almost monochromatic muted palette and a graphic style with flat, plain backgrounds giving no sense of context. The portrait series can be understood in terms of research into the intertextuality between painting and photography and the impact of 'unexpressionism' as an art strategy. The paintings possess the quality of passport photographs in their apparent blackness and formal composition, but at the same time cause the viewer to look deeper into the seemingly subdued expressions of the subjects. The show was curated and hung by Anthony Reynolds in consultation with myself. Almost half of the work exhibited is now in private collections in Europe and the USA. Other works have since appeared in subsequent group exhibitions, including the 2005 Miami Art Fair, Florida.