5 colour lithograph, from 2 stones and 3 plates, onto Fabriano Artistico Natural 300gsm
45.5 x 38 cm [ 15 x 17.9 inches]
Edition of 35, signed and numbered.
About the work
Andrew Cranston’s lithograph for Whitechapel Gallery, relates to his 2018 painting of the same name. The image is based on a short sequence within Roman Polanski’s documentary film 'Weekend of a Champion’, which follows racing driver Jackie Stewart over the course of a weekend, as he prepares for and wins the Monaco Grand Prix in 1971.
The sequence is set in a hotel room and shows Stewart getting ready before the race. In the room too is Jackie Stewart’s wife, Helen, Polanski himself, and Nina Rindt, whose husband Joachim Rindt had died in a crash a year previously. For Cranston, there is something compelling about these few minutes, which in many ways are the least dramatic and important in the film. Rindt is utterly still, frozen, a strange presence.
Having watched the sequence over and over, Cranston reproduces the scene from memory. There is a natural condensing and altering of the scene into a single image - this exact arrangement never appears at all (and of course the cinematic format is landscape rather than portrait). In this work, Cranston was thinking of rooms in painting, especially Munch’s paintings deathbed scenes from the 1890s. In Munch’s paintings the figures are positioned to communicate their isolation from each other, rather than their familial connection, each occupying a space of their own.
The process of lithography especially interests Cranston, through it’s close relationship to drawing. The lithographic crayons, which are used to draw onto the lithographic stones, for Cranston, connect to infancy and those wonderful escapist moments at school when you could draw. In art historical terms Cranston associates lithography most strongly with that fin de siècle period around the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. With artists such as Bonnard, Vuillard, Toulouse- Lautrec, Redon and Munch.
About the artist
Andrew Cranston (b. 1969, Hawick, UK) lives and works in Glasgow. Cranston is known for his paintings, often working onto hardback book covers, His subject matter is often narrative, drawing on a variety of sources, in particular his own personal history; questioning the veracity of memory. This autobiographical activity is combined with passages culled from literature, anecdotes and jokes, second hand accounts, images from cinema and observations of life.
Cranston’s compositions are layered. His use of hardback covers of books as a support for his paintings, demonstrates his surreal, deadpan sense of humour, which touches on the strangeness and pathos of ordinary life.
Cranston was included in the exhibition Outside, curated by Matthew Higgs, at Karma in 2016. A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London and a former lecturer at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Cranston’s recent exhibitions include Ingleby Gallery at Frieze New York (2019); Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2018); Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, London (2017); and Look Again: Visual Arts and Design Festival, Aberdeen (2016).
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