Press Release: André Hemer, IRL
13 Apr 2017
Yavuz Gallery is proud to present IRL, the first solo exhibition of André Hemer in Southeast Asia. One of the most sought after artists of his generation, Hemer (originally from New Zealand) will be exhibiting a new series of his signature-style canvas works that continue the artist’s exploration into the role of painting in a world dominated by digital media and the slippages in meaning between object and image.
Hemer’s practice is motivated by a longstanding interest in the complexity of seeing in the contemporary world. As a result of drastic developments in technology and digital networks over the past few decades, we are likely to encounter everyday objects as de-materialised digital forms as much as their physical manifestations. According to the artist, “the characteristics of an image are no longer principally visual, but embedded with metadata of source, description, and properties. We are caught between versions of things and are relearning to navigate a world in which the physical act of a one-to-one viewing is diminished. A contemporary world shaped by networked forms has led to new phenomenological experiences. Painting in particular asks us what is it to see now?”
Hemer’s works address and amalgamate these different ways of looking and negotiating distance within a single canvas. His painting process combines elements of both digital experience and traditional painting, in a modern technique akin to ‘en plein air’ painting in which a flat-bed scanner is used to capture images of various outdoor landscapes and forms. The combination of light sources from the LED light of the scanner below and of fading sunlight create images that look digital but are not produced in a digital manner. These resulting images are then reworked and layered with spray, acrylic, impasto and oil, creating dynamic and spatially complex compositions that meld and blur the line between the painted and the digital image. The combination of these techniques embodies what the artist calls a ‘new representation’, a term coined to describe his paintings, and the way images are created and consumed today.