Graduated RCA at time of YBAs but resisted pressure to subscribe to ‘brand’
Paradox of setting rules of expressing himself despite not being able to express himself. (due to all the rules: copies of his own work, sometimes in others styles)
Developed into UFO pics, in which his paintings were the UFOs, paintings of the space, including his paintings of the space. Both looking at it, then later of the rest of the show from the perspective of his painting.
Then collected 60s/ 70s show catalogues and remained some installation shots. Changing our experience of the work, which the catalogues did anyway. Documentation. Usually the space between the lens and the pic is to be ignored in a catalogue, and his paintings further look at that space.
Worked with gallery in Vyner St and London based artists to borrow work, photograph it, return it, and in the end collage the works to present a proposed show full of established artist names, all big collectors and curators came, led to good ops for both!
This led to a show in the new art room at Tate, and international shows. Latest work paintings of art storage rooms and crates.
Ref. Q&A recorded online after Vancouver show.
Paints in tempera. Gives a very fly surface. Slightly masochistic as its so hard to work with, dries v quickly. But need to get into right frame of mind to begin working, crack the eggs.
His paintings are depopulated. No distraction or sense of being observed when looking at the work.
Has long held thought of a shed snakeskin, a lifeless facsimile of the actual thing. He aims to muffle the thing, to add a layer. As he decided he is a painter, years ago, there is always the question of what to do with that within the history of painting.
The paintings are ‘quieter’ than the actual photographs he now works from. He alters the photos, straightens verticals, etc, as lens based images are ‘too noisy’ with stuff going on. This muffles them. They may not be ‘correct’ visually, but it makes them quieter.
Ref. Simon Starling? In particular hi current installation in the Duveen Galleries at Tate. In stark contrast with the ‘quiet’ approach, as Starling has installed a huge projection with a very physical soundtrack. Starling also presents an anthology of artworks which were there individually, but are no longer, and some are even now destroyed. He did a show on a similar pretext at the Camden Art Centre. Grassie contrived his own show/ curation of objects, which were selected as they were curatorialy so disparate.