Uncertain Spaces – A City at Night – paintings by Andy Cropper at APG Works, Sheffield

This solo exhibition, by Sheffield artist Andy Cropper, continues the artist’s night-time exploration of in-between places and non-spaces.

Cropper’s realist paintings are concerned with issues relating to the ordinary, everyday and unremarkable. He captures glimpses, ephemeral moments usually unseen or missed. His paintings are beautifully observed, kaleidoscopic and multifaceted. His recent work has become focused on the cityscapes and landscapes of Sheffield.

For Andy, the show “Uncertain Spaces” is about mystery. His work of the past few years has been about observing uncertainty within the spaces of daily life. Looking at places and scenes that make him pause, and question what it is about that given place that produces a feeling that something is different. That something is an uncanny “not quite right”.

The scenes painted show the world around him in Sheffield. Some are immediately recognisable. Others fall into a unique space of appearing to be depictions of specific places that could exist anywhere if not everywhere, yet somehow existing in a sort of unknown distant ‘other’ place too. He believes some of the spaces have a feeling that they are on the edge of a moment where something is about to happen. A feeling of potential. Some have a feeling of deep uncertainty, both of place and in the atmosphere. What is it about a given scene that may have a feeling of safety, threat, quiet, or disquiet about it? He is not sure so that’s why he paints them.

Cropper says

“I’m not aiming to glamorise the mundane, but searching to find interest in the things around us that we usually ignore. There are fascinating things, often unobserved, around each of us. I’m interested in those things that we miss, that we tend to use ‘entertainment’ to distract us from. I’m fascinated by the world around me, not in an engaging way, but as an observer. I love watching the world go by. I am a voyeur. I’m a painter responding to the world around me and using what is in front of me as source. I’m not a painter of dreams, desires, distractions or romances but a realist painter concerned with issues relating to the ordinary, everyday and unremarkable”

About Dan Sumption

Dan Sumption co-founded FAD with Mark Westall in 2001, and divides his time between Sheffield and London.