Known for precise drawings, paintings and photographs of urban landscapes developed over the last 20 years, British-born Tucson artist Andy Burgess has shifted his focus to express a fascination with modern buildings in colors inspired by the desert environment of the American Southwest.
Burgess’s work will be on display beginning February 1 at the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block in the exhibition, Mid-Century Perspectives: Paintings by Andy Burgess and Objects of Modern Design. The exhibition will be on view until April 22.
“Andy Burgess brings a unique perspective and interpretation of mid-century architecture in the Southwest,” said Dr. Julie Sasse, Chief Curator, and Curator of Modern, Contemporary, and Latin American Art at the Tucson Museum of Art. “His work is saturated with vibrant color and the dramatic light of the American Southwest.”
Burgess creates his works by sketching, photographing and distilling images from direct experience and from the internet. As part of this process, he saves photographs and color swatches in folders that become archives at his disposal, re-inventing and re-imagining the compositions in myriad combinations.
Originally from London, Burgess has traveled the world while living and working in Great Britain, Spain, Washington, D.C. and New York. In 2009, he made a dramatic life change, moving from London to Tucson.
One of Burgess’s most important influences is American architectural photographer Julius Shulman, who was known for his iconic images of mid-century modern architecture created between the late 1940s and 1960s, including buildings designed by noted architects Frank Lloyd
Tucson Museum of Art/Page 1 of 3
Wright, Raphael Soriano, Richard Neutra, Charles Eames and Pierre Koenig. In his new surroundings in Arizona, Burgess is in close proximity to a number of buildings designed by Wright.
Included in the exhibition is a selection of designed objects and furniture by Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Rose Cabat and others that captures the spirit and essence of the period that inspires Burgess’s work.
Architects and industrial designers that dominated the mid-century modern movement created objects and furniture that reflected clean, simple designs that emphasized curves and geometric shapes. In creating the compositions for his paintings, Burgess often includes a strategically placed object or piece of furniture, providing a glimpse into the human occupancy within the depicted architectural model.
Examples of mid-century modern industrial design represented in Burgess’s work include the famous Egg chair created by Arne Jacobsen or the Eames Lounge Chair as fashioned by Charles and Ray Eames. Burgess pays homage to designer and architect Kathleen Eileen Moray Gray, more commonly known as Eileen Gray, the designer of the iconic E-1027 table, with a lithograph depicting Gray’s E-1027 house, an architectural marvel in collaboration with French architect, Jean Badovici.
The exhibition kicks off February 1, in conjunction with the museum’s monthly program, Free First Thursdays! There will be a selection of mid-century cars organized by Alex Mastrangelo and furniture vignettes from AZModern, live music Jazz Pyramid Scheme, cash bar, art making, and in-gallery activities. The event is free and open to the public from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Mid-Century Perspectives: Paintings by Andy Burgess and Objects of Modern Design is presented by the Tucson Museum of Art Contemporary Art Society. Generous support of the 2017-2018 Exhibition Season is provided by the Connie Hillman Family Foundation, James J. and Louise R. Glasser, Anne Y. Snodgrass, BMO Private Bank, and AC Hotel Tucson; with additional support by the Kautz Family Foundation and RBC Wealth Management: Richard A. Schaefer, Vance L. Falbaum, Bobby Present, Doug Mance, Tim Dunne, and Linda Immerman- Stoffers.