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Andrew Bick

School Studies: an architectural problem

3rd -11th November, 2012

“I see abstraction as a bit like poetry within language, something where syntax could be stripped right down and reassembled, challenged even”
Andrew Bick, 2012

INDEX presented abstract painter Andrew Bick in the first of an ongoing programme of exhibitions and events. School Studies: an architectural problem features old and new work specially created for the INDEX exhibition.

This exhibition is a celebration of Bick’s preoccupation with the fundamentals of Constructivist art and its role in contemporary artistic practice. His work, which has been described as “gently disruptive and purposefully chaotic”, uses an architectural division of space to create geometric abstractions of form and colour. Each painting builds from contrasting elements: shape and colour, grid and gesture, combining highly-worked and lightly-touched surfaces. Bick’s use of triangular divisions and geometric counterbalancing has links to architectural idealism, while a regular grid is corrupted by contingent elements based on quotation from his previous works.

The processes of division and counterpoint invite the viewer to speculate on the abstract nature of space and consider notions of the self in relation to the repeated act of looking.

Bick’s first solo exhibition, Problem of Architecture, at the Cairn Gallery, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire in 1989, was a critique of the naïve fantasy of an aspiring architect, which also made a more serious point about perceptions of space and construction. For this new project at INDEX Bick is revisiting these architectural problems, using the Constructivist/Suprematist model of hanging a structure across a corner. The new work, made specifically for INDEX, will be shown alongside other works including an original relief from the Problem of Architecture series.

Born in 1963 in Coleford, Gloucestershire, Bick studied at Cheltenham College of Art and Reading University. In 1988 he completed his MA in Painting at Chelsea College of Art and in 2007 held a Research Fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. He is a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University Department of Fine Art and the University of Gloucestershire, and a visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Bick’s work is in major collections, including the British Library, British Museum, Gallery of Modern Art (Glasgow) and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Bick is represented by Hales Gallery, London and Gallery Von Bartha, Basel.

Andrew Bick’s next exhibition School Studies: Ghosts, Arguments opens on 23rd November at the Hales Gallery, London E1 and runs to the 22 Dec 2012. A version of his project for INDEX will be at Galerie Von Bartha Chesa, s’Chanf, Switzerland from 28 December to January 2013.

INDEX would like to acknowledge and thank Hales Gallery, Von Bartha Gallery, the University of Gloucestershire, the Mike Holland Trust and Mark Darbyshire for their kind support