Andrew Grassie

rennie collection is pleased to present the first solo North American museum exhibition of Scottish artist Andrew Grassie from September 29, 2012 to January 26, 2013.

Warehouse at 8828, 2007
tempera on paper on board
10 1/8 x 13 1/8 x 1 7/16 in (25.7 x 33.3 x 3.7 cm)

A casual glance at one of Andrew Grassie’s diminutive, hyper-realistic pictures, one might think they are viewing documentation photographs of an exhibition or of an artist’s studio. A closer inspection reveals Grassie’s works to be carefully constructed paintings made using egg tempera-based pigments, an antiquated medium known for its permanence – a remarkable juxtaposition to the fragility and disposability of photography.

Grassie’s pictures depict renowned exhibition spaces strewn with the detritus of installation preparations, they propose imagined exhibitions, capture paintings in progress, and portray the purgatorial atmosphere of gallery storage spaces. The intimate scale and pensiveness of his production imbues his works with a self-reflexive and deeply considered narration of the insularity of art production and the internal mechanisms and contrivances of institutions.

For this exhibition Grassie will be unveiling new works created from two special projects commissioned by rennie collection. Following the museum’s programming from its 2009 inception, Grassie conducted ‘field recordings’, creating paintings from its previous five exhibition installs. His photographic source material from the life of the collection resulted in depictions of the collectors’ home, where contemporary artworks dwell alongside domestic traces. He has also created paintings of the collections’ warehouse, wherein artworks are glimpsed; a large statue made by revered Los Angeles artist Mike Kelley peers from within the sterile interior of the storage facility, evoking a sense of curiosity as well as terminus.

With these pictures, Grassie completes a picture within a picture, a recursive portrait of the collection. The museum will exhibit works of the museum itself, albeit when it was most conspicuously ‘not exhibiting’. Grassie’s conceptual inversions are also thematic, clever yet staid, and his own installation at Wing Sang promises to be both sparse and intricate. Though his visual punning is dextrous, it is ultimately the confident stillness of Grassie’s images that activates them.

Andrew Grassie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1966 and currently lives and works in London. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Tate Britain; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; and Sperone Westwater, New York. He is represented by Maureen Paley in London and Johnen Galerie in Berlin.

rennie collection has evolved over a number of years to focus on works related to identity, social injustice, appropriation, painting and photography. Bob Rennie has garnered an international reputation as a dedicated collector, amassing one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Canada. In 2009, renovations were completed on the oldest building in Vancouver’s Chinatown to display the collection to the public. rennie collection at Wing Sang holds two exhibitions a year with supporting catalogues and events.