Andrew Litten’s work stirs from the groin – that place of raw bestiality and tenderest compassion. It is the place we all fear; a place of the extreme duality and conflicting, barely controllable urges – a bipolarity of our human beast within. Like so many expressionistic artists, Georg Baselitz comes to mind, in Andrew’s work the rawness is also the vulnerability.
Andrew is searching for poetry, the poetry of living, loving, hurting and dying; the vulnerable, the powerful, the human. Twenty years of rebelling against the dominance of conceptualist art, and what he regarded as the ego driven huge scale and the ‘guarded impersonal painting of high art’, has taken Andrew in a myriad of directions. Working in minute and small scale in the late 1980’s and early 90’s with the humblest of materials such as note paper, envelopes and biros, to surreptitiously placing works in galleries to combat art elitism (before the Stuckists did this), and working under various names to create conflicting identities.
But there is a continuity to Andrew’s work in duality, contradiction and opposition; his paintings carry extreme experience; passion and flippancy; allure and repulsion. These qualities and Andrew’s sense of purpose have been influenced by the powerful poetry of Louise Bourgeois, the master of interpreting our human beast within.
By Jane Boyer