Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Andrew Edwards

A couple of weeks ago, I flew to the opening of Andrew Edwards' show in Norfolk, VA "American Dreams".

Below is an excerpt of a review published in Portfolio magazine:

"Andrew Edwards. . .is an American scene painter. Well, sort of. In his cool, clean-lined world of exaggerated deep space receding at eye level, the influence of film noir is both seen and felt. Through these meticulous acrylic paintings, he explores—with his tongue somewhat in his cheek—how seemingly normal American lives are intersected and mediated by the bizarre and by the vague threat of danger: a fire on a populated hillside, a train bearing down on an automobile or, more peculiarly, a glassy-eyed figure in a top hat and a ferocious tiger in a rusted-out car in a dark field near an amusement park

Improbable juxtapositions of ancient and modern references within a mid-century context are provocatively unsettling, as are the artist’s mask-wearing figures who interact normally with those around them. “Caesar and Pontiac” features Mom, Dad and the kids in the family station wagon driving past a forlorn town and cemetery into a bucolic landscape. However, Mom is wearing a bird mask and a small menagerie of creatures shares the back seats with the children. A somber sculptural bust of Julius Caesar stares with unseeing eyes from the bottom left. And the bare legs and midriff of a striped miniskirt-wearing woman appear about to float out of the scene at the top right like an untethered balloon.

Together, the paintings raise the question of whether there is any such thing as a normal American life. And they make you halfway hope there’s not." -- Betsy DiJulio