Andy Harper

Andy Harper lives in St Just, the most westerly town in Cornwall and works from a studio at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives.

He studied Fine Art:Painting & Printmaking at Brighton Polytechnic (BA 1990–93) and then MA Fine Art:Painting at the Royal College of Art, London (1993-95).

In 1996, with some peers from the RCA, Harper co-founded NotCut which ran a studio and photographic darkroom in London (1996-2010) and curated ‘Lightness & Weight’ in Birmingham. During this time he also studied part time at Middlesex University for an MA in Visual Culture (1997-99) and had his first solo exhibition in London in 1998.

After attending the Braziers International Artist Workshop in 2000, Harper became a member of the organising committee until 2008.

Harper has taught in many institutions nationally and internationally, and had teaching posts at Central St. Martins, The City Lit and is currently a Senior Lecturer on the MFA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Harper has exhibited widely in Europe, North America, South Korea. 

Andy Harper’s paintings deal with the fruits of labour in the shadow of contradictory forces. On one side they are about the immediate process of painting, the mechanical, almost automated act of laying down mark after mark on a surface. On the other hand, they are subject to long-term strategy and planning, each mark developed over time and embedded into a pre-designed structure that provides an architectural framework for the paintings. While this framework may be logically ordered, the marks themselves are organic entities, forming a broad visual library that seems to have taken on its own life, growing and developing through repetition and recombination in each new work. The paintings act almost like a Petri-dish for the culturing of this visual language, and a greenhouse for its cultivation. The forms may seem organic, but on close inspection they are unrelated to anything the natural world has to offer. Rather they are like a man-made form of nature, generated from compulsive repetition and subjective reinterpretations, a world that has somehow grown past the point of offspring to become its own independent entity.