FREDERIC ANDERSON Paintings at Van de Weghe 66 Newtown Lane, installation view
Van de Weghe is pleased to present concurrent exhibitions of paintings by Frederic Anderson at 1018 Madison Avenue and 66 Newtown Lane, East Hampton. Anderson explores the ability of gestural mark-making to communicate raw experience on a purely emotional level with his arrangements of loose jots, scrawled lines, and seemingly off-hand marks. The exhibition at the Madison Avenue gallery focuses on monochromatic works while the East Hampton location showcases Anderson’s wide-ranging and dissonant colors. This is the first time that the artist’s work has been shown in the US.
Anderson makes his own paint, employing pure mineral pigments often derived from semi-precious stones like tourmaline and lapis lazuli. Beginning with his preference for canvases that have “lived a little,” with traces of dirt, fingerprints, or other imperfections that prompt an initial response, he builds the works layer by layer, overlaying saturated color fields with sparse arrangements of sprayed lines. Anderson’s process is a meditation of sorts: he works fast and impulsively without fussing over details, outpacing hesitation and doubt. In Agility, matcha, Lord Krishna, 2020, on view in East Hampton, dashes of brown, green and red settle toward the lower half of the canvas as faint ghosts of similar marks vibrate underneath, giving the painting a nervous, frenetic quality.
Anderson moved frequently throughout his childhood, sometimes to a new country and a new language, leaving him with the feeling that he is not really “from” anywhere. The understanding (or not) of language is important to the artist. Anderson has worked as a translator, interrogating the relationship of words to things and the imperfect, imprecise correlation between languages. His marks are nomadic and unanchored, the paintings purposefully inscrutable, compelling us to experience them in the present rather than to read them. On Madison Avenue, Dissonance, sleeze, soft power, 2020, with its slashes of red sprayed over flesh-like pink ground, evokes the residue of graffiti, a message disintegrated into illegibility. Intensifying the feeling of disconnection of the works to words are Anderson’s stream-of-consciousness titles, which are both playful and jarring.
Frederic Anderson’s work is compelling precisely because it is so paradoxical. At once spontaneously improvisational and meticulously considered, the paintings are gritty yet refined, a melding of the external with the internal. Anderson was born in Luxembourg in 1973. He received a BFA from the American College in London and an MFA at University of Arts, London. He has shown extensively in the U.K., as well as in France, Italy and Luxembourg. Anderson currently lives and works in London. Gallery hours at 1018 Madison Avenue are Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 6:00pm, and by appointment. Gallery hours at 66 Newtown Lane are Thursday – Sunday, 11:00am – 6:00pm, and by appointment. For further information, please contact Pierre Ravelle-Chapuis at Pierre@vdwny.com or 212-744-1900.