2013 - 2014
2 parts: each 135 x 100 cm
Acrylic, charcoal, oil, wax on linen on polyester fabric
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by the artist with support of Galerie VON BARTHA, Basel
Variant t-s (shifted double echo)
Andrew Bick (born 1963 in Coleford, UK) is unquestionably a successor of British Constructivism who uses the formal vocabulary of Concrete Art to create his own unique pictorial compositions. His works blend architectural references with geometric designs, such as colorful triangular and trapezoid forms, which alternate with sharply defined white, gray, and black structures and contrast with gestural color fields. Bick likes to combine opposites – like drawing and painting, transparency and opacity, lines and planes (sometimes colored, sometimes unprimed), as well as shiny and matte surfaces – assembling these pictorial elements into a multifaceted and unfathomable whole. Such a complex structure can also be found in the work “Variant t-s,” which consists of two parts. In one part, the dominant construction of lines, which sometimes includes color fields, acts as a reduced echo of the grid systems prevalent in his paintings – something is also reflected in the work’s title “shifted double echo.” In the second part, a layered arrangement of differently textured color fields – sometimes gestural, sometimes interlaced with lines – conveys the impression of spatial depth, hence enhancing the architectural quality of Bick’s composition.
Bick often covers the pictorial structure with opaque milk glass or layers of wax, creating the impression that the colors are enshrouded in mist, like memories of a distant past. He thus transforms the geometric vocabulary of forms into a glass wall object. The blurred structures evoke the spirit of older Constructivists like Marlow Moss, who was a pioneer of geometric painting and Systems Art and whose understanding of art Bick has studied in depth. In general, art history is extremely present and alive in Bick’s oeuvre, especially in the form of his engagement with the predecessors of abstract and concrete modernism, which is also a focus of his work as an author and teacher.
By vitalizing his strictly geometrical arrangements through gestural painting and areas of unprimed canvas, or by sometimes obscuring them with milk glass and emphasizing the character of his works as objects, Bick lends Constructivist and Concrete Art an unusual poetic dimension.
Dominique von Burg