Parkscapes, an exhibition of new paintings by Andrew Wykes, opens Saturday, January 30th, 2021 at Groveland Gallery. A transplant from the United Kingdom, Wykes was born just outside of London and studied fine art at the Epsom School of Art and Design. He received his MFA in painting from American University in Washington, D.C. and has taught art for over 38 years in the UK, Belgium and the U.S. Wykes has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his paintings are included in numerous collections in the U.S. and Europe. He has received Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019. In 2009, he was awarded a fellowship at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Mayo, Ireland. Wykes is a professor of painting at Hamline University in St. Paul. In 2019 Wykes was selected to be filmed as a participant for the Sky Television series. Landscape Artist of the Year, made in the UK.
Painted with heavy impasto, Wykes builds his landscapes with a palette knife, introducing rhythmic lines and facets of lively color into his compositions. This contemporary approach to the genre of landscape paintings gives Wykes’ images a unique aesthetic. Rooted strongly in the gesture of drawing, his paintings reveal the energy and diversity of the landscapes to which he has traveled over the past two years. The artist says about his new paintings:
I paint the geography of where I find myself, in the United States or overseas in Britain and Ireland. Over the last seven years I have made drawings in sketchbooks, one each day of the small park one block from my house in Northfield, Minnesota. My paintings are also made on site in the same park, some taking many days to complete. However, the goal is always the same: to make an equivalent and authentic response to the place I have experienced, and to translate that experience of the three-dimensional landscape to the flat surface of my painting, seeking to create a balanced dialog between the intellectual and emotional.