Even as a teenager, André Hemer knew he wanted to be an artist. It was the thing that he was compelled to do and the activity that made him happiest.

From Vienna, where he now lives and works, André reflects on a number of mentors who, during his school and University years, helped fuel and direct André’s passion and abilities. Megan McCormick, André’s high school teacher was “the most passionate advocate for arts you could hope for.” University lecturer Simon Ogden “to this day remains someone who I can always contact for advice, and who gets straight to the point about work and practice,” and Mathys Gerber and the late Julian Dashper, who would speak frankly and generously gift thoughts on “all things artist.” Such steadfast support must be important when the pressure rises and your work is increasingly sought after all over the globe. He has secured numerous international residencies and exhibited extensively in New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, the United Kingdom and has exhibitions in LA and Singapore lined up.

 

He is the recipient of several awards including The National Contemporary Art Award, Waikato Museum (2011) and the Bold Horizons Contemporary Art Award (2011). He has secured numerous international residencies and exhibited extensively in New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

 

When asked about the current climate in visual art, André explains, “Painting, as a medium, is in an important place because it finds itself between two discourses. One is the so-called Post-Internet narrative that speaks of the changes resulting from digital networks and media, and the other the conventional approaches of old media that are forced to react to this broader cultural change. I consider myself to be a child of both—I’m equally interested in decentralised networks as I am by the act of layering of pigment on a surface.” The impact of the New Generation Award is already tangible, André says. “Most of the time as an artist you go about your business with a certain sense of isolation. So the sense that someone was looking at what you were doing and thinking that it’s something worthwhile is really humbling. As an artist you’re always searching for time. So for me, this gives me time without any obligation other than to put it back into my work, which is as valuable scenario as you can ever hope for as an artist. The award also let me get underway with a number of exhibitions, works and projects, and to sign a long-term lease on a great studio here in Vienna that would have been risky without that financial back-up. I’m authoring a book on painting at the end of the year via a Berlin publisher for which I’ve also been able to dedicate some more energy towards, and also be more ambitious with. I have shows in LA, Sydney, and Singapore, for which this award will help out greatly. I’m incredibly grateful for what it has already, and will come, to enable.”