Andrew Litten has been an NSA member since 2006.
Litten attended life drawing classes age 16 whilst still at school with an interest in expressionist art. He then began full time art education at Amersham College Of Art (specialised in painting). 'I began art college, but after a few years ultimately found it a restricting and claustrophobic experience so decided not to continue with art education. I wanted to find my language in the domestic and the commonplace, away from what I perceived to be the guarded impersonal language of high art at the time.'
He traveled the UK to find inspiration within commonplace life, aiming to convey an emotive poignancy in figurative representations of ‘the ordinary’ and ‘the everyday’. The work itself was deliberately erratic and undisciplined. In a period of around four years, well over a thousand works were created on kitchen tables, in garden sheds, garages, attics, bedroom floors, and the the cupboard under the stairs.
'Litten was working in minute and small scale in the late 1980’s and early 90’s with the humblest of materials such as note paper, envelopes and biros, to surreptitiously placing works in galleries to combat art elitism (before the Stuckists did this).’ Jane Boyer (written in 2013).
During the mid 1990’s, he began employment in photographic studios ‘finishing’ hand printed photographs and the controlled manipulation of photographic imagery began to influence his own image making. He was employed in London and later in Oxford, where visits to Richard Hamilton’s studio encouraged a new phase of personal creativity for Litten. With interested in the idea that the static two dimensional image can be a deceitful conveyor of information, Litten began developing subject matter that was motivated by paradoxical readings between the surface image and implied readings of hidden content. These works accumulated in various series of portrait paintings relating to hidden Internal Dialogues and the ‘Inner Voice’, representing subtleties and contradictions between public / private bodily self image. This creative phase countinued until 2004.
Litten moved to Cornwall in 2001, and by 2005 in a new studio had began creating sculpture alongside paintings. The work began to more directly represent Littens interest in subject matter dealing with extreme psychological disturbance. Behavioral themes of depersonalisation, voyeurism and disfunctionl sexual attachment began to inform the work.
A major project work ‘Dog Breeder’ was created in 2007 for exhibition in LIME WHARF space in Vyner Street, London. The event took place on the opening night of Wilkinson Gallery (opposite Lime Wharf) and continued during the week of Frieze Art Fair. Dog Breeder commented on the absurdity of the contemporary art world and its hierarchies, ‘Dog Breeder’ made with paint and pubic hair, is intended to be seen in the Dada tradition of anti-art.
Recent creativity since 2016 has aimed to present an unguarded empathetic attitude towards its human subjects. ‘I want to create emotively led art that speaks of the love, personal growth, anger, loss and the private confusions we all experience in our lives.’ Recent work has established strong humanistic themes such as social alienation, drug use, ageing and other issues of identity disturbance. Litten's 2018 solo exhibition 'Ordinary Bodies, Ordinary Bones' was supported by Arts Council England. https://www.anima-mundi.co.uk/exhibition-andrew-litten-ordinary-bodies-o...
The main publications of Litten's work are: 'ID Smear', 'Paintings' 'Connect?' 'Free Range' 'Ordinary Bodies' and 'Everyday Means''. His artwork has been used for cover images by Artall Museum, China (Contemporary British Painting exhibition catalogue Nov 2017) and publishers Faber and Faber and Bloodaxe Books.