Andrew Litten British, b. 1970
OverviewI want to create emotively led art that speaks of the love, personal growth, anger, loss and the private confusions we all experience. Perhaps subversive, tender, malevolent, compassionate – the need to see raw human existence drives it all forward.ANDREW IS A (MAINLY) SELF-TAUGHT ARTIST
Andrew Litten can be considered an ‘Outsider’. Self-taught and working away from the mainstream, his practice is raw, uncooked and unadulterated by culture.
His work exposes the raw, visceral identity of the human subconscious. He strips bare the protective facade of the seemingly mundane and ordinary, revealing our deepest fears attached to love, angst, sadness and identity. Like voyeurs, we are happy to look in on the frailties of others, but at the same time, we are forced to confront the idea that, in essence, we are observing ourselves. This duality provokes both attachment and repulsion in equal measure.
Recent work has established strong humanistic themes such as social alienation, drug use, ageing and other wide-ranging identity disturbance issues. As well as working with traditional media (canvas and paper), Litten is well-known for his use of found objects and other materials to heighten and emphasise the visual.
Much sort after, both in the UK and abroad, his work is owned by Anthony Petullo, one of the foremost collectors of ‘Outsider’ art in the United States.
Price for work from £1,000.
Looking Casual, 1999
Night View, 2019
Remnants (Study 2, Male Version), 2019
Liminal Stage (Study), 2017
Portrait Study, 2019
The Field, 1992
Alcohol Now, 2013
Bed Legs, 1999
Impotent Worry, 2016
Polaroid I, 2006
Polaroid II, 2006
Reclining Nude, 2006
Seated Nude, 2006
Man With Dust and Dirt, 2011
OCD Boy (Keeps Counting)
Thinking of Evil, 2012
Andrew Litten’s work explores raw human existence. Andrew is searching for poetry, the poetry of living, loving, hurting and dying; the vulnerable, the powerful, the human. His work carries extreme experience, passion and flippancy, allure and repulsion. These qualities and Andrew’s sense of purpose have been influenced by the powerful poetic art of Louise Bourgeois, the master of interpreting our human beast within.Dr Jane Boyer, academic researcher, writer, artist-curatorArt is a bad liar. Many contemporary painters aspire to a raw, self-taught aesthetic, but their rawness quickly reveals itself as cooked-up. Litten bears the stamp of authenticity. The meanings of his images may be elusive, but they work on our feelings because they are felt.
Laura Gascoigne, independent arts writer, including The Spectator, The Tablet, JackdawLitten’s paintings have always confronted the viewer with the psychological weight and emotional intensity of the physical world, suffused with the darkness that can run through life, but now there s also a feeling of lightness as if these weighty forms have been permeated by the weightlessness of atoms, liberated by movement and transformed by a new luminosity.
Dr Richard Davey, research fellow in the School of Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University. Art essays include Anselm Kiefer for the Royal Academy of ArtsLitten’s influences range from Edvard Munch, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard to Francis Bacon, Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois. Like Bourgeois, Litten mines pain to vivifying effect, and it becomes a force for connection. “Through these works, I seek to create stories of authenticity and to explore the part of us that wants to care – to compress a sense of endurance of human spirit,” Litten says.
Sophie Hastings, freelance features writer, including Observer, The Gentlewoman, GQ, ARTnewsLitten’s expressionist paintings challenge engagement. Complex, varied and layered, they reach into the human condition and draw out the viscera of mind states: depression, sex, dependency, anger, fear, all our most private corners are opened. The pictures are exciting and calming at the same time because they seek to reveal the mind, not really the artist’s but somehow the looker’s, and explain.
Simon Tait, freelance arts and features writer for The Independent, The Times, the Evening Standard and FT
2023 Connect, JD Malat Gallery, London
2021 Fragile Together, JD Malat Gallery, London
2020 Something is Wrong, De Queeste Art, Abele/Watou, Belgium
2020 Concerning the Fragile, Anima Mundi, St Ives
2018 Ordinary Bodies, Ordinary Bones, Anima Mundi, St Ives
2017 Need, Patrick Davies Contemporay Art, 2017
2014 I Wish you Ill and Hope you Suffer as Much as I Have, Spike Island Test Space, Bristol
2013 ID Smear, Motorcade / FlashParade, Bristol
2012 Guest, L-13 Light Industrial Workshop, London
2011 This is Real, Oo Gallery, New York
2011 Wrong Art, in association with RSA New Contemporaries, RSA, Edinburgh
2008 Paintings, Goldfish, Penzance
2007 Connect?, Goldfish, Penzance
2006 Free Range, Goldfish, Penzance
2005 Ordinary Bodies, Goldfish, Penzance
2005 I Trust you Implicitly, Gallery Pellar, New York
2004 Something Happened, Hilsboro Fine Art, Dublin
2004 Objects of Subjective Interpretation, Dick The Dog, Penzance
2003 I Think I was Just Talking to Myself, Dick The Dog, Penzance
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2013 This Me of Mine - Identity in the Digital Age, UK touring exhibition and symposium
2011 With WW Gallery at the Venice Biennale, Venice
2010 No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern (Turbine Hall), London