André Piguet is an artist who works primarily in the wider field of painting. His practice has an interest in language as well as developing new hybrid forms in both figuration and formal abstraction. He has an ongoing series of paintings centered on Count Duckula. Intended as working studies, a distorted anamorphic image of the cartoon forms their basis. Heavily elongated or stretched it appears correct when viewed from an oblique angle—as famously seen with the skull featured in Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Ambassadors (1533). The artist is drawn to the cartoon’s satirical misanthropic character—perhaps as a further nod to Holbein’s skull and the memento mori trope: death amidst life. Though he also uses the image as a scaffold—a mesh upon which to insert a series of iterative and formal colour tests. Each drawing is heavily layered, worked and reworked. Landscape is a prominent consideration: when viewed front-on the Count Duckula works contain dominant horizontal divisions like coastal landscapes, even grid lines suggesting maps or mapmaking. Landscape and the sea are equally present in his colour field paintings, which form part of a larger series of process-based abstract works. Consisting of patterns that correspond to the rhythm or timing of the music the artist listened to while painting them, they have a visual appearance suggestive of physical spaces or forms. Their glossy surfaces, made up of layers of pigment in an oil-alkyd medium, appear like pools, waves, streams, or light seen through a tree canopy. Providing representational cues within his titling, Piguet doesn’t play down these emergent forms—he seeks to illuminate them.
André Piguet (b. 1986, Auckland, New Zealand) lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2010. He was a resident artist at Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne) in 2017 and a Stonehouse-Glasshouse Residency (Chenaud, France) in 2018. Recent exhibitions include: Selected Ambient Works Vol. 3, STATION (Sydney); La Dronne (with Jackson Slattery), Gertrude Glasshouse, (Melbourne); Port Duckula, Spazio Tripla, (Bologna); earth, passing thru trap, Sydney Sydney, (Sydney); House, Black Art Projects, (Melbourne).