André Hemer’s paintings continue the artist’s inquiry into the role of painting in a world dominated by digital media and the slippages in meaning between object and image. Hemer describes his work as embodying a ‘new representation’, a term he coined while obtaining his PhD to describe the painting he is making.
“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 (born 1981, New Zealand; lives and works in Vienna, Austria) 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, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include 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 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; New Generation Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. He is currently an Artist-In-Residence at the ISCP in New York, NY as the recipient of the Paramount Winner Wallace Art Awards, New Zealand.