Artist and Photographer

The Power of abstract art and nature

Andrew Conway-Hyde | Loft Studio

The Evolution of Style

In order to develop a signature approach to painting and photography, Conway-Hyde studied and practised various methods of creation. Up until 1985, he took a technical and figurative approach, studying life drawing and the use of watercolours. He then began an examination of art historical movements from 1985 through 1991. He developed an understanding of contrast and reflection through the use of abstraction in modern art as well as analyzing the conversations of noted Abstract Expressionists and Pop artists such as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons for their expressive and emotional styles.

From these findings, he entered his “Gefrorenes Fenster” or “Frozen Window” period. Here, he developed a minimalist approach to abstraction; in his painting using only three to five colours on a canvas and creating images through 90-degree photography. The development of his critical and philosophical approach to art blossomed from 2000 to 2010 during his time in Oxford. He began to question the physiological and biological motivations behind the human fascination with a work of art. He spent countless hours in Oxford’s Ashmolean and Victoria & Albert Museum, examining their print rooms and impressionist collection, and experimenting with colour theory and contrast in a way that would define his art in years to come.

As Conway-Hyde’s individual artistic style progressed he revisited his roots in the abstract, minimalist, and impressionist styles with an emphasis on the reduction of an image to simplistic lines and intentional use of colour. He translated the elements of abstract expressionism with his growing interest in the colour field painters the pioneered the movement; particularly he noticed the correlation between his work and the use of line and colour in the work of Gene Davis from the American Washington School. What emerged was his distinctive style that understood the art historical lineage of his practice, but denied the gestural and spontaneity of his predecessors. Instead, Conway-Hyde developed an approach dictated by nature, with meticulous intentionality to the abstract images he created, an Abstract Realism. Here, his work becomes the marriage of two juxtaposing elements, the obscurity of abstraction and the true-to-life notions of realism. Sky and seascapes as well as images featuring waves of colour became his predominant subjects; often working from photographs to help guide his abstractions through the light and colours that appeared in nature. His works began to encapsulate what he termed “L’heure bleue”, the momentary conjunction of two opposing forces. He aspired to create a profound visual harmony to accurately capture these ephemeral instances and turned to further developing his understanding of colour.