press release

Chisenhale Gallery and Picture This are commissioning Andrew Mania to produce a new large scale installation in Chisenhale Gallery comprising sculpture, painting and film.

Andrew Mania is a collector of curiosities, creating assemblages and installations that include figurative drawings, curios, sculptural objects, photographs, videos and film footage. He recycles found objects and images, such as old master drawings or vintage photographs, and adds his personal obsessions - including yetis, invasive abstract motifs or bird-like swarms.

Mania has a nostalgic, romantic and irreverent relationship to art history - he appropriates the status of the antique then twists it to convey new narratives in the present. His visual language reclaims and recombines images with the drive and aesthetic of a collector given to creating fantastic arrangements with intriguing tangential associations.

Mania’s new commission is a culmination of his lines of enquiry into the act of looking, representation and appropriation. At the heart of the project is an exploration of his roots and family history, refracted through the history of art and cinema, and of Europe during World War Two. Much of Mania’s work considers his relationship to his parents’ status as refugees from the Second World War. His Polish mother arrived in Britain via India after the Russian invasion of her homeland. His father, a German paratrooper, was brought to Britain in 1945 as a prisoner of war after surrendering in Guernsey. Mania’s up-bringing was filled with tales of his parents’ extraordinarily turbulent experiences, which feed the complex and personal allegories he creates in his work.

Gogolin seeks to evoke memories and feelings of longing, loneliness and desire - it will comprise two main elements: the first is a hand-crafted, life-size wooden Polish chata (summerhouse) built in an Eastern European vernacular style, containing numerous paintings and drawings; the second is a large-scale film of the Great Bialowieza Forest showing, amongst the dense trees, a make-shift cinema screen onto which an excerpt from a feature film will be projected that refers to his mother’s viewing of Hollywood movies in refugee camps and the often brutal history of the forest.

Andrew Mania was born in Bristol in 1974. He attended Falmouth School of Art and completed his MA at Chelsea College of Art in 1999.

Solo exhibitions include: Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam (2006), Vilma Gold Gallery, London (2006), John Connelly Presents, New York (2005), Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco (2005), Vilma Gold, London (2002), Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2001).

Group exhibitions include: Peter Kilchman Gallery, Zurich (2005), Peres Projects, Los Angeles (2005), Vilma Gold at Diana Stigter Amsterdam (2004), Wider Than The Sky, Commercial Street, London (2004), Collage, Bloomberg Space, London (2004), Inside Outside, Milton Keynes Gallery, (2004), Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London (2003), Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2000).

Andrew Mania is represented in the UK by: Vilma Gold

Supporters: Arts Council England, Esmeé Fairburn Foundation and Air Design


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Andrew Mania: GOGOLIN