Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present a sculpture of my left hand and five embraces, the gallery’s third exhibition with the British artist Andrew Lord.
The Open Hand: the embraces by Andrew Lord
For artist Andrew Lord, the atlas of the world[i] is composed not of connected landmasses delineated into political shapes often beset against the grain of geography, but of passages of the body: the mitt of the hand capping a stretch of the arm bending into the block of a torso. Should the figures he hews be of bronze or ceramic—an arrangement of vessels, a circle of swallows, the rise and run of a Lancashire landscape—each work possesses a double consciousness of lyrical embodiment, of being in the world and the world being in it. Or, in other terms, as Lord has touched the thing, the thing has touched him. Both changed in the contact, the work is left with the imprint of metaphor.
Even when the subject is not the human figure as in his shapely vessels—statuesque, cubist, mottled—deployed in carefully arranged installations, Lord himself asserts that “the impression of the body is essential to the formation of the work.”[i] It is the animating thrust of corporeality met with the sympathies of consciousness that becomes the vehicle compelling his sculpture from inert medium to the efflorescence of concept. This intuitive manipulation of his own frame and its capacities to sense the surrounding world carries the work from a utilitarian container toward an abundance of contained histories, memories, loves, and griefs. For the embraces, a series of five works in bronze, accompanied by a sixth sculpture, a bronze iteration of the artist’s own hand, Lord has returned to notebooks, recalling investigations into figure and form that have arisen from the past with new urgency.
Andrew Lord was born in 1950 in Rochdale, England, and lives and works in Europe and New York. He studied in London in the late 1960s, spending much time exploring the Victoria & Albert Museum collections as well as studying the works of the Della Robbia Studio in Florence. In the 1970s he worked in a ceramics factory in Delft later receiving a three-year stipend from the Rotterdam Art Foundation, which allowed him to travel often to Paris where he encountered the shock of Modern Art. His oeuvre has been large and steady over a period of 50 years. Andrew Lord is part of a generation of artists that include Francesco Clemente, Julian Schnabel, Tony Cragg, and Sandro Chia, and others, who, by distancing themselves from the aestheticism and rigors characteristic of Conceptualism and Minimalism in favor of a more sensual, narrative, and less restrained artistic expression, contributed to a generational shift in art during the 1980s.
Solo exhibitions include the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US (2018); Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK (2010); Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, US (2010); Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, NL (2003); Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (1996); and The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, US (1993). His work is among the collections of notable international museums including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, US; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL; Tate Britain, London, UK; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; The Glass House, New Canaan, CT, US; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, US; and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, NL, among others.