Christopher Augerson

Residency 1: Conception

Timescale: 6 weeks from 3rd November 2010

Sleep (pencil and charcoal)

Dreaming (pencil and charcoal)

Of American and French citizenship, Chris Augerson grew up in Washington DC and Germany.  He completed bachelor degrees in Visual Arts and Chemistry at Bowdoin College (Maine, USA) and a Master’s in Art Conservation at the New York State College at Buffalo in 1992.  He since worked as an art conservator-restorer for institutions including the Palace of Versailles, English Heritage, and the National Trust for Scotland.

After many years conserving art (mostly decorative arts and sculpture), Chris has recently returned to making two dimensional drawings in mixed media including pastels.
His work focuses on three different areas. The first is portraiture, the second is still life, and the third is abstract or highly representational work.  Portraiture is his main area with a concentration on the development of a style which allows him to confront the challenge of depicting individual character, and various human psychological states. During the residency at ArtFunkl Chris focused his attention on this aim, and used the time to confront his habitual modes of working, allowing the language of his portraiture to evolve as a result.

The ideas behind this body of work are equally influenced by the intimate scenes of human contact by Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), and the still lives of Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964). Morandi’s later still life paintings feature an anthropomorphic use of bottles and kitchen utensils that appear to represent gestures between people (indicated by the physical relationships between their forms). Chris appropriates these notions in his work and brings them into contemporary context, thus highlighting the continuum of human behaviour and communication across centuries of time and place.