Andy Denzler at Opera Gallery

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Exhibitions

In the new series The Drift, created especially for Opera Gallery, Andy Denzler confirms his mastery of technique and the aesthetics of his style where abstraction flirts with the figurative.

The space of Opera Gallery located at 19 Place Longemalle, Geneva, is bathed in an atmosphere of contemplation emanating from the eighteen new paintings by Swiss artist Andy Denzler. In the series The Drift, created especially for the gallery, the public is confronted with the almost evanescent representation of the painter’s models. The Zurich artist confirms his mastery of technique and the aesthetics of his style where abstraction flirts with the figurative. The exhibition is in place until June 30th.

Andy Denzler, The Drift in Black, 2023. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Opera Gallery and the artist.

From Abstract to Figurative

Andy Denzler studied applied arts, first at the Kunstgewerbeschule and at the F&F Schule für Gestaltung in Zürich, then at the University of Los Angeles and the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. While he has worked as a painter and photographer for years, he resumed his studies and obtained a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London in 2006. By confronting other cultures during his visits abroad, he has acquired cultural enrichment and an empathetic and poetic vision of the human being.

He finally chose his native country, Switzerland, as the base for his life and work. It is in a vast studio near Lake Zurich where the prolific artist has established himself. For ten years, he expressed himself through an almost geometric abstraction in muted colors before reconnecting with the great tradition of the figurative in the early 2000s. The pictorial style he has since developed is similar to a second signature that he nourishes with two essential pieces of data in life: time and movement.

Andy Denzler, Black Hands III, 2022. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Opera Gallery and the artist.

The Painter in Action

Many of Denzler’s paintings are commensurate with his spacious and meticulously organized studio. Like a dancer facing his partner, the artist evolves in front of the canvas between closeness and distance until the characters appear. These protagonists are absorbed in moments of intimacy: pensive, dreamy, and meditative. Moments of reflection or relaxation in which each of us can project ourselves naturally. Hyperrealism is only ephemeral with this artist who voluntarily blurs our visual perception. Scraper in hand, Denzler sweeps his canvases in large transverse movements, making certain elements disappear. The recurrent play of light and shadow in his work reminds us of the painter’s admiration for artists such as Vélasquez or Rembrandt.

Colors play a major role in the strength of Andy Denzler’s works. He relies on muted earth tones and cold colors that amplify the emotions transmitted. He does not skimp on the quantities of paint. By energetically mixing the different colors on his XXL palette, he creates the ideal shades. Then, playing with different brushes, spatulas, or knives, he lays them down flat or with delicate strokes. Each work is inspired by a photograph taken by him and to which he refers during the creative process. Any resemblance to existing people is not purely coincidental, because the portraits on display are indeed of friends and relatives.

Andy Denzler, The Drift II, 2023, oil on canvas, 180 x 150 cm. Courtesy Opera Gallery and the artist,

The Drift series at Opera Gallery

Eighteen canvases make up the new series inspired by the concept of drift. What does that word mean? To deviate from one’s trajectory, to move away from one’s anchor point, to abandon oneself. Is there a direct link between the health crisis that we have just experienced and its undeniable impact on our behavior and our relationships? Let us approach the works to admire the artist’s brushstrokes and the beauty of the technique. The artist’s paint is applied in thick, broad scraping strokes that are reminiscent of jerky images from a film. Taking some distance from the paintings puts us in the position of a spectator, somewhat voyeuristic. The faces with closed eyes invite us to guess their thoughts or to invent a story around this moment of relaxation. Whether the character is standing, lying down, or seated, he is never completely immersed in darkness. Light is always present in the background or enveloping the subject, similar to an aura.

Andy Denzler, When the Warm Voice Surrounds You, 2023. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Opera Gallery and the artist.

Opera Gallery

The first Opera Gallery was opened in Singapore in 1994 by the founder, Gilles Dyan. The great modern, post-war, and contemporary artists are represented in sixteen branches spread across Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Middle East. The last space was inaugurated in Madrid last May. The particular focus of the group is its own inventory of secondary market works including Chagall, Dubuffet, Mirò, Picasso, and Soulages. Internationally renowned contemporaries abound such as Ron Arad, Botero, Manolo Valdés, and Shepard Fairey. Some are represented exclusively such as Manuel Genovès (1930-2020), Li Tianbing, and Andy Denzler.

Denzer’s The Drift series is exhibited at Opera Gallery until June 30, 2023.