André Hemer’s paintings continue the artist’s inquiries into the role painting plays in a world dominated by digital media and rife with slippages between object, image, and meaning. Hemer describes his work as embodying a “new representation,” a term he coined during his PhD to characterize his unusual painting practice:
"You have these terms like post-internet but ‘new representation’ speaks more generally to the idea that, because the way we consume and create media has changed so markedly over the last decade, the way we represent the world must change because of that. This is about how you represent all this dematerialized form in the world – how you rematerialize it."
Hemer’s approach to painting is typically y-gen in its use of both physical and digital mechanisms. Using a method akin to a modern day ‘en plein air’ painting (a flat-bed scanner left open under the sky) Hemer scans painted sculptural forms to create the background of his compositions. The combination of the light sources (the LED light of the scanner from below and the fading sunlight) create images that look digital but are not produced in a digital way. The images are then overworked with spray paint, acrylic, oil and very three-dimensional impasto to create visually dynamic compositions. The combination of techniques is reflected in the difficulty in describing the finished works in more traditional painting terms.
André Hemer was born in 1981 in New Zealand. He currently lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Hemer received a PhD in Painting from the University of Sydney, Australia and an MFA from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, which included a research period at the Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom. Recent solo exhibitions include These Days at Hollis Taggart Contemporary, New York City, New York; Sunset/Sunrise at Luis De Jesus (Viewing Room), Images Cast by the Sun, Singapore; New Representation Part III at Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Flatbed Plein Air at Tristian Koenig Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; and New Representation Part II at Bartley and Company Art, Wellington, Australia. Recent group exhibitions include Closer than they appear at Yavuz Gallery, Sydney; Picturesque at Palmer Art Projects, Sydney Australia; Antipodean Inquiry at Yavuz Gallery, Singapore; Anemic at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, UK; 100 Painters of Tomorrow at Beers Contemporary, London, UK; and Utopian Days at Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (2014). Hemer has received support from various foundations and residencies including the Villa Lena Foundation, Italy; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Residency, Berlin, Germany; and a New Generation Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. He was recently an Artist-In-Residence at both the International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, NY and The Studios at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
In conjunction with the final week of the Unreachable Spring, the gallery will host an artist talk on Zoom, December 19th, 1:00 PM PST / 4:00 PM EST moderated by Luis De Jesus and Lindsay Preston Zappas. This conversation will serve as a summation of the exhibition and provide insight and dialogue towards the socio-political atmophere in which these works were created. From isolation and death, to social activism, to personal responses to systemic oppression, we speak with our artists about making art during a year unlike any other.
We are pleased to announce that André Hemer is an artist-in-residence at The Studios at Mass MoCA. The Studios is MASS MoCA’s artist and writers residency program situated within the museum’s factory campus and surrounded by the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. Operated by MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program, the residency runs year-round and invited artists make work on site for periods of 4-6 weeks. Hemer is a resident for the month of January and will be featured in the open studio event. While in residence Hemer has been collecting videos, images, and 3D scans using the environment within the Museum campus—these will be developed into new paintings, sculptures, and video works to be shown during 2020.
Unreachable Spring takes its title from the eponymous painting by Laura Krifka. The painting was slated to be featured as the sole work in her first Viewing Room on the gallery website, accompanied by an essay by the writer and art critic Andrew Berardini. Laura began the painting in late March—within days of the start of the Covid lockdown in the U.S., and shortly after learning that she and her husband were expecting their first child. By summer it had become clear to us that it was the lede for a deeper exploration of ideas and subject matter.
At Luis De Jesus in Culver City, a group show gathers a loose array of artworks that were made in response to recent events. With so many crises affecting our country, the work diverges in focus, addressing a range of issues: pandemic’s loneliness, the toppling of monuments, and the lives lost to police brutality. Unusually, the gallery has included artist statements next to each artwork, allowing the viewer into the thinking behind each work, and providing a connective personal tone across the exhibition
While group shows can sometimes lack a coherent vision, this one seems worth a trip. All of the works were made during the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from bitingly political paintings to beautiful reflections on home. The featured artists are June Edmonds, André Hemer, Laura Krifka, Kambui Olujimi, Edra Soto, and Peter Williams.
Unreachable Spring is a group exhibition featuring artists prompted by a desire to take refuge in their work and address this transformational moment in a personal way.
These crises have also inspired artists to respond in kind, prompted by a desire to take refuge in their work and address this transformational moment in their own personal way. By creating art that inspires contemplation and elicits discourse, these paintings, sculptures and photographs bear witness and provide a record of how these artists have experienced life over these past six months. Individual artist statements and an essay by Andrew Berardini will be included in their entirety as wall text in the gallery as well as on the gallery website exhibition page and Laura Krifka’s forthcoming Viewing Room.
Vienna-based artist André Hemer spent lockdown creating new paintings based on his process of layering thick, colorful paint streaks on a flatbed scanner and digitally scanning them. These abstract works, alongside his first sculptures, are on view in the artist’s first New York solo show, and capture something of the isolation of lockdown and the unexpected beauty of a slower-paced life.
Luis de Jesus Los Angeles presents “Andre Hemer: Sunset/Sunrise,” an online exhibit running from Thursday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 19. The exhibit features new paintings, sculpture, photographs and video.