Andrew Graves studied at Kingston University (BA Hons) and Middlesex University (MA) where in 2016 he completed his PhD which was examined by Sonia Boyce and Iain Kiear. Andrew's doctorate ‘A User’s Guide for Painters and Cyclists: Very Abstract Painting and Serious Cycling’ explored contemporary painterly abstraction specifically in the context of European and mid-century American painting and it used the racing cyclist as a model for practice. Andrew has exhibited internationally including shows in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the USA, South Korea and here in Britain. He was part of a three person exhibition at Ana Cristea Gallery, New York and included in the 'Simply Painting' exhibition at the Peacock Space in Aberdeen which was a group show which focused on the language of abstract painting. In 2005 Andrew was selected for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition at The Curve, Barbican in London and in 2009 he was awarded the Jerwood’s Galleries New Contemporary painting prize.
Sacha Craddock, the art critic, writer & curator, wrote the following about Andrew's work:
"This is the kind of painting that uses touch to gain meaning, to draw or drag itself awkwardly in the direction of visual sense. In a faint relationship with the surface Graves’ touch replaces any easy initial understanding with the new affirmation that whatever this work is about or for, it could really only ever exist in this form.
The painting stroke, the relation the artist has with the surface, implies this is an activity, movement, focus of concentration that could easily move on and continue elsewhere off the edges of the painting.
The references that come with each painting are very much to do with creating a place or landscape. All paintings are about positioning the person who looks at them, about putting the spectator in the right place from where it's possible to start to see what is about to be described in such a painstaking manner. The close up, the corner, the details, the suggestion forgo any overview or understanding in favour of physical fact. The surface and the light faint colouring, which can sometimes be monochromatic, bring the work into a familiar area for painting, one that bridges centuries and provides an instant association with the last to the one before and this to the last.
Graves's paintings exist in the strong haven of quietness in painting. When Luc Tuymans uses this faint quiet language, he makes a place, a still life or employs a found historical reference to summon an Imperial past. Andrew Graves brings you even closer than that, in order to reaffirm that the visual game is being played. The place is close; from the world that brings the heightened threat and possibility of place, the foot of the mountain, perhaps, the base of Cezanne's Mont Sainte-Victoire."