Andrew Kayser (b. East London, 1975) is a contemporary artist who graduated in 001 from Koninklijke Academie van Beeldend Kunsten (Royal Academy of Art), Den Haag, Netherlands. He currently lives and works in Johannesburg.
Kayser’s creative process looks like a guy sitting around the studio staring at the work or pacing up and down in a rather anxious state. Frustration often builds to the point where he’ll jump up and work in short bursts, then it’s back to sitting or pacing. He always has several works going at the same time, so if he’s stuck on one piece, he can just move to the next one. Some works are finished over a couple of days, while others will sit around for weeks or months until he resolves them.
He spends a lot of time in the studio, trying to work continuously so he can get into a rhythm and reach a point where the work comes easier and he doesn’t have to think too hard about what he’s going to do or how he’s going to do it. If he tries and focuses too specifically on themes, the work becomes illustrative and derivative, so he tends to avoid specific themes. If there are themes, they are concerned with ambiguity and absurdity, filtered through a darkly comedic perspective.
“I know nothing, I have no moral authority or stance. Are the contents of my head of any interest as they bleed onto these surfaces? If so, to whom and to what effect? Painting has lost symbolic force and function in a culture of promiscuous knowledge and glutting information. This is the dilemma faced, and all I can do is try to create an absurd, ambivalent, darkly hilarious reality where, while you may lose your footing, you have no choice but to abandon yourself to the pleasures of the surface. Painting won’t heal, I just hope the manner in which it bleeds continues to be of interest. And beware if this makes any sense, I’ll make it up again next time in the same way I approach the canvas to make my next mark.” – A. Kayser
In Kayser’s recent solo exhibition ‘At Home, After Dark’ he explores the basis of meaning and how we prescribe its function through the language of art in our current society. In a world where we confine meaning – through myths, history, fiction and religion Kayser explores a sense of stability and order. This most recent body of work invites us into a space that emphasizes the fleeting, intangible nature of meaning. Through the use of peculiar juxtapositions, veiled archetypes, subjective stereotypes and expansive metaphors, the viewer is solicited to construct their own narrative.
‘At Home, After Dark’ offers a look into Andrew’s dark and complex take on the world: where moments are ambiguous, and nothing is absolute.
Kalashnikovv Gallery, Solo Show: ‘At Home, After Dark’ (2017)
Kalashnikovv Gallery, Duo Exhibition with Jason Bronkorst: ‘No Lack of Void/Gulag Rim’ (2016)
Kalashnikovv Gallery and Museum of African Design (JHB), Solo Show: ‘#ULTRACONTEMPORARY #EMERGENCYART #AFRICA’ (2016)
Kayser has participated in numerous group exhibitions: ‘Memento Mori’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2018); ‘A Contemporary Showcase’, Graham’s Fine Art Gallery (2018); ‘Super Salon II’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2017); ‘August House’, Hazard Gallery, Johannesburg (2016); ‘From Whence They Came’, Smith Gallery, Cape Town and Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2016); ‘Scramble for Africa’, Kalashnikovv Galeri, Berlin (2016); ‘Super Salon’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2016), ‘Transitions’, Old Transvaal Post Office, Johannesburg (2015); ‘The Painters Show’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘Death of the Old’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘taking back the artworld one work at a time’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘Cross-Sections’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘The Black Cube Session’, The Old Post Office, Braamfontein (2015); ‘Young Collectors’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015);
Art fairs include: Cape Town Art Fair (2016, 2017), FNB Joburg Art Fair (2015, 2016, 2017), Turbine Art Fair (2015, 2016) and Berliner Liste (2016).