CROSS-SECTION OF A CASCADE

Scottish-born artist Andrew Mackenzie has embarked on a new series of paintings that challenge our perception of the archetypal landscape genre. By referencing historical artistic practice and the contemporary use of monochrome, he considers the relationship between the constructed and natural worlds. For example, the juxtaposition of an organic motif, a decorative tree, evocative of the seventeenth century landscape painter Claude Lorrain, with a diagrammatic trace of man-made structures, reminiscent of the British Modernist painter Ben Nicholson, reveals how the artist subverts the tradition.

The paintings are derived from photographs, memory, art history and sometimes invention. A combination of these elements fragment, float and overlap through complex layered surfaces of oil paint on panel. A delicate network of lines, shadows and form emerges and become concrete through the history of making. Such depth and resonance imbues the work with purposefulness – beautifully austere yet simultaneously romantic and thoughtful.

The final pieces are thus a residue of the many decisions taken in their creation, where the positive and negative forms become interchangeable. emphasising the abstract qualities of Mackenzie’s work. Ultimately the paintings exude serenity, yet an eerie uncertainty permeates the overall atmosphere, keeping his images firmly lodged in our minds.

Graduated with an MFA from Edinburgh College of Art in 1993, solo exhibitions include the critically acclaimed “Delicate Ground” part of the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival and “Ten Decades” at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh. Other exhibitions include “Viewpoint”, National Galleries of Scotland, Banff, 2005; “Sunlight on Grey Painted Steel” at The Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 2003; and “New work”, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Leeds, 2002. Collections include; Flemings, The London Royal Academy, City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Halifax Bank of Scotland and the Bank of America.

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