Words: Maddy Matheson
Responding to our contemporary existence over the past twenty years, Justin Andrews’ complex abstract forms have received both local and international attention. Andrews has a long-standing relationship with Charles Nodrum Gallery, holding solo exhibitions in 2009 and 2012. The gallery has announced it is once again representing the artist, with inclusion of the artist in Abstraction 20 and a forthcoming solo exhibition scheduled for 2021.
Andrews is a diverse artist who lives and works in Castlemaine, Victoria. His works have been acquired by regional galleries, institutions and collectors. Hand-built frames and panels stretched with canvas are the sites of his most well-known acrylic works, but he also works with a plethora of other mediums including drawing, printmaking, sculpture, site-specific installation and, most recently, sound. His diverse portfolio does not end there, with collaborations with other artists on projects around the globe from New Zealand to Europe.
On his practice the artist says, “I’m inspired by how an abstract painting can remain nebulous and enigmatic even in today’s hard realisms and scientific representations.” The angular, deconstructed forms in Andrews’ work clearly reference Constructivism, yet cannot be tied to the art history cannon so definitely, as this would ignore the timelessness of these works. Elements are at play, hard and angular lines contrasting subtle and often earthy colour palettes. The viewer is offered a moment in time, a glimpse at a fractured, multifaceted and dynamic reality. Repeated motifs, lines and patterns offer solace and an ode to the humanistic nature of routine. To Andrews, “An abstract painting will always be a point of material contact, a subjective proposition and a window into the unknown.”
Image: Justin Andrews in his studio, October, 2020. Courtesy: the artist and Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne.