The art of Pat Andrea
From 10 October 2021 to 23 January 2022, Museum MORE in Gorssel is holding a retrospective of the work of Past Andrea (born 1942), entitled ¿QUÉ PASA?. Born in The Hague as the son of a painter and an illustrator, Andrea is renowned both in the Netherlands and internationally. In his unsettling compositions, he combines global conflicts with “the often problematic relationship between man and women”. Aestheticism and alienation elevate the works above the level of reality. Over seventy paintings and drawings, dating from the 1960s to the present day, are testimony to an artistry that is imaginative and critical in equal amounts.
Divas with daggers and belles with bombs; Pat Andrea’s art hovers between beauty and danger.
The many women who play the main role in Andrea’s work, usually scantily clad in confrontational poses with brightly coloured, box-like backdrops, reflect his lifelong fascination for the femme fatale.
Pat Andrea, El silencio, 1982, private collection, © Pictoright
Her beauty and eroticism are combined with a dominant, sometimes aggressive image. There is a constant tension between attraction and repulsion. Movements frozen in time give the impression of a snapshot, an isolated yet momentous scene from an infinitely huge and complex story, in which the viewer not infrequently feels a voyeur. Enigmatic details and changing perspectives provide an atmosphere that is unmistakeably magical.
From the start of his career, Andrea sought to create art that was both personal and socially relevant. With paintings of the murder of John F. Kennedy and the execution of Che Guevara in the 1960s, he showed himself to be a chronicler of his times. And even today he does not eschew shocking images, as seen in his paintings inspired by the recent IS terror.
Pat Andrea, Dead of a president, 1966, loan Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency, © Pictoright
Pat Andrea, El dia de la Yerra, 1982, private collection, © Pictoright
Of no less importance was his introduction to the “explosive temperament of the Argentinian woman”. Since then, the combination of global conflicts with “the problematic relationship between man and woman” has formed the leitmotif of his oeuvre. Aestheticism and alienation elevate the works above the level of what is sometimes harsh reality. Andrea’s world is like a sinister fairy tale for grown-ups, in which faithful dogs become vicious monsters and alluring young girls turn out to be suicide bombers.
Andrea has always attached great value to the accessibility of art. As he sees it, there is no difference between so-called high and low art. In the tradition of Hergé, the cartoonist behind the famous comic hero Tintin, he presents his subjects with clear and strong lines. It is no coincidence that in the 1970s, Hergé was one of his first collectors. In this sense, his oeuvre can be counted as part of the pop art movement.
¿QUÉ PASA? is Andrea’s first retrospective a museum in the Netherlands. The exhibition features over seventy drawings and paintings, including – for the first time since the1980s – a selection from the series La puñalada (The stab, 1979-1980), inspired by the Argentinian tango. Andrea’s original sketchbooks are used to give the public insight into the artistic creative process. There are also illustrations, such as those for books by Jan Cremer and Herman Pieter de Boer. Specially for MORE, Andrea will be painting a monumental mural in the museum, and museum visitors can see the artist working live from 4 October 2021.
Pat Andrea, Niet Meer Kijken, 1976, private collection, © Pictoright
Pat Andrea, Luz Portena, 2002, private collection, © Pictoright
The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated book with text by guest curator Feico Hoekstra and a foreword by Ype Koopmans. Publisher: MORE Books. Designer: Erlend Schenk. ISBN: 9789083098821.
The film and animation studio Fixioneers – Digital & Visual storytelling from Anne-Marie van Dongen and Marialya Bestougeff in Paris has produced a short documentary of Pat Andrea that will be shown during the exhibition.
In addition to works from the MORE collection and loans from fellow museums in the Netherlands, ¿QUÉ PASA? features many loans from private collections in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Greece, some of which are being shown in public for the first time.