Vass's work is bound up with the fusion of mark making and looking: they record the probing of the eye as it is translated into a materiality, an idea expressed eloquently by Roland Barthes: 'The line, however light, or uncertain it may be, always refers to a force, to a direction; it is an energon, a labour which reveals' which makes legible 'the trace of its pulsion and its expenditure. The line is a visible action.' In the drawings and paintings of Andrew Vass we find a similar energon' whereby the mark or the trace is a unit for directly building and constructing without losing any sense of this physicality or sensuality.
Often made on location, Vass's drawings document a particular interface between the artist and a specific perceptual grasp of what lies before him: pressure and erasure document proximity and distance, the movement of the eye, and the sensation of perceived planes and masses; grasping in his words, 'a property that lies between surface and image.'
In this way, the paintings and drawings actively produce space: a space that reverberates somewhere between observation and construction, rather like what Willem de Kooning referred to as a 'glimpse'. Moreover it is a painterly space that isn't about grounding representations, an idea which can ultimately be related back to specific urges within modernism: that of the naturalistic and the anti-naturalistist.
What Vass manages to hold on to is both positions, while acknowledging that his works ultimately possess an 'independent life'.
Adapted from the essay 'Frequency' by David Ryan 2005
- 2011 The Class Of, The Waterfront Gallery, Ipswich (more info)
- 2011 The Class Of, Ipswich Art School Gallery, Ipswich (more info)
- 2011 JOURNEY PLANNER open studio, The Brewery Tap, Ipswich
- 2010 Eight Drypoints, The Cold Store, Norwich (more info)
- 2010 Landscape, Broadbent, London (more info)
- 2010 LANDSCAPE, Broadbent, London
- 2008 Pitch, The Garage Space, Ipswich
- 2007 Close at Hand, Broadbent, London
- 2007 Surfacing, Horace Blue, Norwich
- 2005 Frequency, Broadbent, London
- 2012 CROSS COUNTRY, broadbent, London (more info)
- 2012 Winter's Choice X, Oliver Contemporary, London (more info)
- 2009 North House Gallery 10th Anniversary Show, North House Gallery, Manningtree (more info)
- 2009 Alex Pearl and Andrew Vass, Peppermint SHED, ipswich
- 2009 Kettles Yard OPEN 2008, Kettles Yard, Cambridge
- 2008 coordinates, Town Hall Galleries, Ipswich (more info)
- 2008 Mindspace, Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (more info)
- 2008 Broadbent, London Art Fair, London
- 2007 Circulate Series, Broadbent, Toronto Art Fair
- 2007 Traject Series, Broadbent, London Art Fair
- 2002 Drawn Together, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Suffolk
- 2011 DRAWINGS PROJECTIONS, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich
- 2011 "interventions "residency at UCS, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich (more info)
Competitions, prizes and awards
- 2003 Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London etc
- 2001 Jerwood Drawing Prize, Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education, London etc
- 2008 Brand Literary Magazine
Web links - gallery/work/projects