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André Hemer

André Hemer in The Studios at MASS MoCA in West Adams, MA in January 2020.

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

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