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Andy Hope 1930: Medley Tour

The time-travelling artist returns to his earlier works, giving them a new twist, in his Hauser & Wirth expo

1930 was a year of change. Amidst the Great Depression and the start of what would become World War II, it was also the beginning of radio, recorded music, and all-talking, all-colour movies. The monotonous monochrome of suprematism and constructivism were gone, and made way for a new form of visual culture; Action Comics and popular art forms dominated visual media and would come to be universally recognisable symbols.

Andy Hope 1930 is not an artist name, it is the name of a fictional character or persona in which I travel to different times and spaces

Over 80 years ago today, this era of the Technicolor revolution can seem a distant memory, but luckily not so for time-travelling artist Andy Hope 1930. He returns to London this month with his Medley Tour, exhibited at the Hauser & Wirth gallery.

Dazed Digital: How does it feel returning to London for a solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth?
Andy Hope 1930:
It feels great, I am always happy when I come to London. For me it’s my favourite city in Europe. I spent a year at the Chelsea College of Art and Design and had a great time. My first two shows with Hauser & Wirth were in their Piccadilly space, which I loved, but now I am thrilled to show in their new space on Savile Row.

DD: What themes do you find yourself returning to for this exhibition?
You could actually say that the theme itself is returning. As you know, I will be showing a new body of work called the 'Medleys'. The term refers to medleys in music, where previous works are combined into one new piece.  In a similar way, I am returning to my previous works, revisiting them and amalgamating elements of these works into new compositions.

DD: So for these Medleys, are you developing or reworking your body of work?
I am reworking and thereby developing my own existing work and with the X-Medleys, also combining elements from my vocabulary with iconographic elements of other sources, such as of Modernism, contemporary art, literature, everyday life, and comics.

DD: Why do you choose these other elements? What is it about these themes you wish to explore?
I’m not interested in being identified with specific topics or images; I want to keep my language open, fluent and multi-layered and see my work as a masquerade of absurdity rather than speaking through only one voice.

DD: What was the initial inspiration for this exhibition then?
Over the past few years, I had invented some rather strange pieces like the 'Time Tubes' and the Phantoms. These are the starting points for my recent direction. They did not allow my paintings to continue as they were. Only through the Medleys could I go on in painting; the Medley-Technique opened the right approach in that field. They are in a way the integration of the Time Tubes and the Phantoms into the field of painting.

DD: And what do you hope people will take from this exhibition?
The idea of how to travel back in time with the future in your eyes and hope for the past.

DD: Can we talk about your artist name?
Andy Hope 1930 is not an artist name, it is the name of a fictional character or persona in which I travel to different times and spaces.

DD: And what’s the significance of ‘1930’?
1930 is like a sign in time, like a signal or point of orientation. It signifies the end of Modernism and of Russian Suprematism and the beginning of the rise of superheroes.

Medley Tour London by Andy Hope 1930: Hauser & Wirth London, Savile Row; until 26 May 2012. Opening: Wednesday 18 April 6 – 8pm