Color and Shape: ANDY BURGESS

10 December 2020 - 15 January 2021
  • 'Sometimes adversity can have a silver lining, and so it has proved with the recent pandemic. With travel and art exhibitions cancelled across the world, many artists, myself included, have enjoyed prolific periods of creativity as we have been confined to our studios.  I have used this extra time and space to re-apply myself to my passions for abstraction and collage.


    Collage for me is the perfect art form. It encourages play and experimentation and allows me to make an abundance of smaller works that focus on the process of artmaking rather than the finished product. I feel freer to invent and try new ways of picture making; exploring color, texture and composition with a greater sense of fun and abandon.'

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  • 'Conceptually, collage as an art form is extremely interesting because it charts the history of modernism and the avant-garde in visual art and has been integral to a broad variety of art movements such as Cubism, Constructivism, Surrealism and Dada. By its very nature, collage represents the complexity of the modern world with its onslaught of frenetic energy, fragmentation, and abundance of imagery competing for our attention.'


  • 'Within my collage I explore the conventions of composition and how as artists we approach the task of presenting and representing the world around us every time we make an image. The cut and pasted nature of collage is by definition experimental and playful and allows for a number of dualities…. objective versus non-objective, organized versus disorganized, geometric versus organic, resolved versus unresolved, straight edges versus torn edges, found versus fabricated etc.'

  • 'The very materiality of collage is an antidote to the increasingly digital nature of the modern world. While there is a growing tendency to produce art, including collage, using newer technologies such as the iPad and of course, Adobe Photoshop, which is undoubtedly fascinating and relevant, my collage remains resolutely analog and hand made. This allows me to recycle vintage papers and ephemera and to hand-paint my own materials, continuing a dialogue with the rich history of painting as the pre-eminent art form of the last seven hundred years.  I have been exploring texture in my recent work, incorporating a wide variety of acrylic mediums, inks and glues and utilizing printmaking and stenciling techniques. Once completed a work can be scanned and altered and reproduced digitally but the initial material has a “history” and provenance in the physical world that feels important to me.'

  • 'The playful and life-affirming nature of art is also intrinsic to my practice. I’m less inclined to make work that is self-consciously ironic or shocking, but rather I am drawn to the fact that color and shape produce very profound positive emotional reactions in the viewer. As such the subject of my art is human emotion, joy and the evocative nature of color and light and shape. My collage is an exploration in intuitive color combinations and the illusion of space within the two-dimensional artwork.  I see my work as very much an engagement with the history and trajectory of modern art, the assertion of the artwork as an object in its own right rather than a window onto another world. By extension, my collage is also an exploration of other non-modern art forms such as primitive art, indigenous and folk art and even “Outsider” art (all of these have been hugely influential on modern art). In this way I can fabricate a collage that might be influenced by The St. Ives School of British modernists as well as the Gee’s Bend quilts made by African American women in an isolated part of Alabama. Collage encourages referencing and appropriation and allows for a dialogue across time and culture. My emigration over ten years ago from the metropolis of London to the desert South West of the USA has led to an interest in Native American and Mexican design and pattern. My recent collages have tended to mimic texiles and fabrics and make associations beyond the realm of fine art, to the aesthetic qualities of crafted objects such as rugs and clothing and even ceramics.'


    'I have been fabricating collage for over twenty-five years. I realized this because my first encounter with collage was seeing the famous Kurt Schwitters retrospective at The Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1994. I came home from that show and made my first collage using found paper and I haven’t stopped since! In these times of social upheaval and anxiety, collage remains ever more vital and life-affirming as an act of creative energy and reimagining.'



    Andy Burgess.   

    September 2020.

    Tucson, Arizona

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