Artist biography

English painter. He studied from 1949 to 1953 under William Coldstream at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Andrews's work was, however, imbued with an instinct for capturing the mood and social behaviour of a familiar milieu: on this occasion, family holidays on the coast of his native Norfolk. In the 1960s Andrews was occupied with large party scenes that came to epitomise the decade's pleasure-seeking. Images appropriated from the media, fashion, pop music, literature and the cinema were all incorporated into paintings of people he knew.

Anonymity of touch and a thin surface of spray-painted acrylic paint were fully exploited in the Lights series of paintings: scenes of a skyscraper, ocean liner, pier and so forth, seen from the aerial perspective of a gas balloon. Between 1976 and 1986 Andrews made 25 pictures of an estate in Scotland where he participated in deerstalking. Panoramic vistas and a sensual response to the light and forms of hills and valleys also characterised the paintings and watercolours, begun in 1983 after a trip to Australia, of Ayers Rock and the area around it; these works explored the common ground between Aboriginal sacred sites and Western religious and ethical beliefs. In 1992 Andrews moved back to London, and in 1994 completed The Thames at Low Tide (London, priv. col.). His last works continued to explore the idea of belonging and spiritual release.

Michael Andrews (exh. cat., intro. L. Gowing; London, Hayward Gal.; Edinburgh, Fruitmarket Gal.; U. Manchester, Whitworth A.G.; 1981)
Rock of Ages Cleft for Me. Recent Paintings by Michael Andrews (exh. cat. by M. Andrews and W. Feaver, London, Anthony d'Offay Gal., 1986)
Michael Andrews: The Delectable Mountain: The Ayers Rock Series and Other Landscape Paintings (exh. cat., intro. B. Bernard and J. Raban; London, Whitechapel A. G.; Paris, Hôtel des Arts; New York, Grey Gal. & Stud. Cent., 1991)
Michael Andrews: The Scottish Paintings (exh. cat., intro. R. Calvocoressi; Edinburgh, N. G. Mod. A. 1991)


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