Andy Hope 1930 exhibits paintings from his series Impressions d’Amérique in Metro Pictures’ upstairs gallery. As the title suggests, the paintings explore American landscapes, locations, protagonists and myths, some using the repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes of Paul Cézannes impressionist style, others performed in the language of visual modernism. Andy Hope chooses the outdated and clichéd icon of the cowboy as the main protagonist, referring to classic Hollywood Western scenarios, sometimes mixed with fragments of popularized European art history (da Vinci’s The Last Supper) to make portraits of characters both real and imagined. The Loveless shows Montgomery Clift’s character in the Howard Hawks film “Red River” (1948) rendered with bright melancholia. When Clift created his role, a new kind of “soft cowboy” was being developed in opposition to the ethos of John Wayne, who represented the rugged masculine classic cowboy. Speak Our Names is an appropriation of a painting by Picabia (The Acrobats, 1935), a parody of Picasso’s famous acrobat paintings. Hope incorporates the hidden erotic implications in Picabia’s paintings and replaces the bathing-cap-like headgear with cowboy hats. The two figures walking hand-in-hand in their skintight suits allude to Superhero comics.
The works in the exhibition are a continuation of German-born Hope’s ongoing fascination with the mythology of America—the Wild West, comic book superheroes and science fiction. He has regularly combined distinctly American iconography with various modernist painting techniques to make an idiosyncratic lexicon of imagery all his own.
In 2010 Andreas Hofer renamed himself "Andy Hope 1930," the translation of his name from the original German into English, formally adopting the name he previously signed on his paintings. He chose 1930 as the year marks, for Hope, a definitive social, cultural and economic shift that paved the way for the future to come.
This is the artist's third presentation of Hope’s work at Metro Pictures.
Andy Hope 1930 has had one-person exhibitions at Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover; Inverleith House, Edinburgh; Goetz Collection, Munich; Kunsthistorisches Museum and CAC Contemporary Art Club at Theseustempel, Vienna; and MARTa Herford, Germany. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris; Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Hope participated in the 2012 Gwangju Biennale.