Andrew Vass (1961 – 2015) studied at Cambridge College of Art and Technology 1978-1982 and went on to teach in the art department at Suffolk College in the 1980s, proceeding to Suffolk New College and University Campus Suffolk. He exhibited at Ipswich Town Hall Galleries; Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury; Kettles Yard, Cambridge; North House Gallery, Manningtree; Chicago Art Fair; Jerwood Drawing Prize, London; Contemporary British Print, Shanghai. He had solo shows at Trumpington Gallery, Cambridge from 1982, Amalgam from 1990 and Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich 1998.
Andrew lived and worked in Ipswich for a number of years. His work was a response to the environment and his ever-changing location within it. Working in charcoal, oil, drypoint and watercolour, his paintings and prints were concerned with making spatial drawings in response to particular locations.
Vass’s work is bound up with the fusion of mark making and looking: they record the probing of the eye as it is translated into a materiality, an idea expressed eloquently by Roland Barthes: ‘The line, however light, or uncertain it may be, always refers to a force, to a direction; it is an energon, a labour which reveals’ which makes legible ‘the trace of its pulsion and its expenditure. The line is a visible action.’ In the drawings and paintings of Andrew Vass we find a similar energon, whereby the mark or the trace is a unit for directly building and constructing without losing any sense of this physicality or sensuality.
Often made on location, Vass’s drawings document a particular interface between the artist and a specific perceptual grasp of what lies before him: pressure and erasure document proximity and distance, the movement of the eye, and the sensation of perceived planes and masses; grasping in his words, ‘a property that lies between surface and image.’
Frequency, from the essay by David Ryan, 2005
QG Exhibitions featuring Andrew Vass:
ORCHESTRATED MARKS 6 June – 4 July 2015