Andrew Szczech is a visual artist whose practice focuses on the investigation of systems and structures. Using the modernist grid as a starting point, he examines the symbiotic relationship between the individual and wider society. Socio-political issues considered include migration, national identity and structural unions from the supranational through to familial levels.
The works are aesthetically autonomous and engage the viewer through carefully considered chromatic and tonal combinations, composition, and selection of materials. Minimalist language is employed for its elegance but its meaning is transfigured in order to address contemporary concerns. Edges are activated in order that the works are seen as objects rather than paintings.
Incompatible materials are routinely used that squabble with each other to achieve supremacy. Traditional artists’ materials such as linen, canvas, graphite powder and oil paints are contrasted against industrial materials including cold pressed steel, channeling, aluminium and copper plate. The works exude a sense of quiet violence.
Typically, works comprise more than one element and the process involves developing each component in response to the others. This process may result in divergence or convergence. At times, the differences in materiality may be magnified and at other times minimized to such a degree that close examination is required to reveal the opposition between the weave of linen and the sheen of the steel. Blemishes and stains left on the metal as the work is formed are intentionally untouched in order to maintain a record of the labour of its construction. Paintings start as abstract works, often made horizontally using thinned paint, and can evolve into figuration as the work develops.