Sunday, May 2, 2010

Andrew Hemingway

This is a somewhat of a departure from my usual subject matter, which is artists' websites, but Andrew Hemingway is too important an artist to omit from any blog on pastels. While he does not appear to have a website of his own, his work is featured on the websites of galleries that represent him, in enough variety and definition to make it worthwhile checking them out.

I first saw Andrew Hemingway’s work in the Pastel Journal, November/December 1999 issue, (he was the cover artist) and it is very interesting to read about him again ten years on in the June 2010 issue.

Andrew Hemingway was born in Yorkshire in 1955, where he still lives. He attended the Barnsley School of Art and the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London where he took his degree in Fine Art and the History of Art. In 1976, he received bursaries to Italy (Florence and Rome) and he won a scholarship to Norway in 1978. He taught art at various schools and colleges in England during the late 1970's and early 1980's. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, between 1975-1987 and at the Piccadilly Gallery 1980-1984. One-man shows have been held in Canada, Holland and London. His work can be found in private collections world wide.

He visits Holland regularly; the Dutch Old Masters, he freely acknowledges, have been an influence on his own painting. Frequently referred to as a ‘Contemporary Old Master’ as a result of his exquisite application of paint or pastel, Hemingway's work engages with aspects of daily life in a way that is as conceptually challenging as it is visually arresting. He started out in egg tempera, painting mostly landscapes. He made the move to pastels when he came upon a support that suited him. His images in pastels are of remarkable precision and depth, comparable only to the some aspects of the work of Jane Lund. He is indubitably one of the most important still life artists in pastel working today.

Working within time-honoured figurative traditions, Hemingway has borrowed from the vocabulary of the Dutch Masters of still life, with succulent fruit and the waxy petals of tulips in shiny silver vases, the colour variations in Roman glass, each minutely recorded. But he uses many kinds of contrasts in his still life set-ups – soft dandelions against marble, fruit backed by polystyrene, even more mundane materials such as packaging materials, plastic carrier bags, toilet roll inners, giving them all an enduring, timeless quality.

Hemingway’s landscapes are perhaps less well known, but he recently returned to landscapes and as one would expect they are just as beautifully executed as his still life works.

I haven’t mention my “top ten” pastel artists for some time, but Hemingway is indisputably among them.

The links for Andrew Hemingway are as follows:
Mira Goddard Gallery, Toronto.
Brian Sinfield Oxford.
Messums - on Messums' website you will have to put Hemingway's name into the search box, or else register with the gallery.


  1. Hello,
    My name is Josh Hemingway (Andrew Hemingway's son) and I have recently begun an online gallery of work by my father.
    Perhaps you would like to link to it.

    All the best,


    1. I have a landscape painting with the name A. Hemingway in the lower right quaderent of the painting. I purchased it in Honolulu in 1982. Would it possibly be one that your father painted? It has a stone arch looking out to sea with a small sail boat floating on a stream just inland of the arch.

    2. I have no idea. You need to contact Josh Hemingway, not me. I just write the blog. But the domain name has been up for renewal or deletion since 5.5.2012 so I can't assist you further.