Michael Andrews


With Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London
Private Collection


1980, London, Hayward Gallery; Edinburgh, Fruit Market Gallery; and Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, Michael Andrews, 31 Oct. 1980 - 11 Jan. 1981; 24 Jan. - 21 Feb. 1981; and 6 March - 20 April 1981, cat. no. 41
2019, London, Piano Nobile, Craigie Aitchison and the Beaux Arts Generation, 14 Nov. 2019 - 29 Jan. 2020, cat. no. 34


Catherine Lampert, Lawrence Gowing and David Sylvester, Michael Andrews, 1980, Arts Council of Great Britain, cat. no. 41, p. 59
Susan Campbell, Craigie Aitchison and the Beaux Arts Generation, 2019, Piano Nobile Publications, cat. no. 34, pp. 110-111 (col. illus.)
Preparatory studies were of great importance to Andrews. Writing to David Sylvester in 1961 about The Family in the Garden (1960–62, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) (fig. 16), Andrews explained that ‘I’m keeping almost rigidly to the drawings – in cases line by line’. He was referring to the drawings which form part of this Group of Studies, which meticulously describe the faces and other details – the crossed legs, knees and background – that were included in the final painting. Sylvester had written to ask if he would lend them to the exhibition he was curating for the Arts Council, Drawings for Paintings. Andrews regretfully explained that they were ‘really indispensable to me at present’.

The Family in the Garden depicts Andrews’ own family, seated in their garden at 13 Park Lane, Norwich. He began the work with a burst of activity in September 1960. Helen Lessore wrote to him at the time, commenting, ‘What a wonderful experience it must have been, three days beginning a big picture in the open air.’ The work was indeed painted in the garden itself, with Andrews laying a large roll of carpet between the painting and the house and erecting a large plastic tent around the canvas.