The Universal Complexity of Everyday Existence: Raw Paintings by Andrew Litten


The dynamic and gestural figurative paintings of British artist Andrew Litten express a strong interest in the universal complexity of everyday existence—dealing with humanistic themes such as love, sensuality, fear, anger, loss, isolation, addiction, paranoia, sex, personal growth and perceived identity.

His works are created with an unguarded, empathetic attitude, and like so many expressionist artists, exhibit a rawness of approach. Gesture and nuance inspire extreme emotive reading—perhaps subversive, tender, passionate, ambivalent, malevolent or compassionate. Our response becomes one of allure or repulsion.

Andrew writes: “Creativity is empowering and empathy is powerful. I want to create art that speaks of the emotions and private confusions we all experience in our lives. The need to see raw human existence drives it all forwards.”

His new exhibition “Ordinary Bodies, Ordinary Bones” is supported by Arts Council England.

Andrew Litten

Andrew was born in Aylesbury in 1970. He is self-taught, having left art college as a teenager after having found it too restrictive. For a decade from 1990-99 he created mostly small-scale works using humble domestic or found materials (including envelopes and assembled furniture parts). The work made at this time deliberately challenged ideas of art elitism and art as commodity.

He then moved to Cornwall in 2001 and chose to begin exhibiting. Early success came when his work was included in an exhibition titled ‘Nudes’ in New York City, (along with Jacob Epstein and Pierre-Auguste Renoir), and highlighted and reviewed by the New York Times. His first major London exhibit was in Vyner Street during Frieze Art Week 2007 with his work ‘Dog Breeder’, which was created as a twisted and emphatic anti-art statement.

He was included in ‘No Soul For Sale’ at Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London in 2010. In 2012, he held a major solo exhibition at Millennium in Cornwall and, that year, was given a guest solo exhibition at L13 Light Industrial Workshop, London. He has also held large-scale solo exhibitions at Spike Island and Motorcade FlashParade in Bristol. Works have been included in numerous international curated mixed exhibitions in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Australia, China, USA and the 54th Venice Biennale.

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Images used with permission.

Facing the Inevitability of Defeat
Impotent Worry
Sexual Intercourse
Boy Versus Man

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