Gretchen Andrew

(b. 1988, CA/US)

Gretchen Andrew (2020). Photo: Nick Berardi.


Gretchen Andrew, born in Los Angeles, California, in 1988, is a Search Engine Artist and self-proclaimed Internet Imperialist. Best known for her playful hacks on major art world institutions including Frieze Los Angeles, The Whitney Biennial, The Turner Prize and Artforum, Gretchen’s practice involves actively reprogramming the artificial intelligence underlying the global internet.


By performatively manipulating the artificial intelligence of tech giants’ search engine optimisation (SEO) technology, she can make her dreams come true. Artificial intelligence is inherently backward looking and susceptible to being reprogrammed through knowledge of the internet’s structure and Gretchen exploits this, rewriting existing representations of reality by using a search engine’s own rules and limitations against itself.


Gretchen studied information theory at Boston College while working in Silicon Valley but later apprenticed with well-known figurative painting legend Billy Childish in London. Today, the LA-based artist is primarily known for her vision boards and associated performative internet manipulations of art world institutions such as Frieze Los Angeles, The Whitney Biennial, The Turner Prize, the cover of Artforum, the next American President, and others.

By identifying what the artist refers to as “positive failures,” Gretchen is able to turn the global internet into her personal manifestation machine. She notes that “the Internet cannot parse desire,” so when she creates vision boards and websites expressing a desire to be on the cover of Artforum, the Internet immediately turns that into reality. “The internet,” the artists explains, “skips from ‘Gretchen is hoping to be on the cover of Artforum someday’ to ‘Gretchen is on the cover of Artforum.’” The result is that Gretchen's vision boards appear above historically printed covers of the actual Artforum magazine.


Career facts


Andrew has had shows across the continent and in Europe since roughly 2015. She has had solo and group shows in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Austria, Canada, Switzerland and South Africa.

Her work has been featured in Flash Art, The Art Newspaper, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fortune, WirtschaftsWoche, Monopol Magazine, LALA Magazine, FAD, artnet News, Dazed, Hyperallergic, Artillery,The Financial Times, and elsewhere.


Gretchen Andrew books – Select bibliography


In 2018, the V&A Museum released her book Search Engine Art, documenting nine artists whose works are in some way co-authored by search engines.


Selected works – 2020

Gretchen Andrew, Cover of Artforum, 2020. Celebratory dishware, novelty champagne bottles, and charcoal on canvas – 60 x 48 in. Courtesy Annka Kultys Gallery.



Gretchen Andrew, Cover of Artforum, 2020. Glass flasks, emergency candles, and Hello Kitty stickers on canvas – 60 x 48 in. Courtesy Gazelli Art House.



Gretchen Andrew, Map of the EU, 2020. Hope stickers, plastic eggs, plastic grapes, and charcoal on canvas – 60 x 60 in. Courtesy Annka Kultys Gallery.



Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Charcoal, word beads, table cloth, and cork on canvas – 60 x 48 in. Courtesy Annka Kultys Gallery.



Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Iron-on movie scenes, good luck charms, and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy Annka Kultys Gallery.




Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Joker cards, bubble gum, foam quarters, and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy Annka Kultys Gallery.



Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Poke stickers, bubbles, cookbook cutouts and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy Annka Kultys Gallery.



Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Princess shower curtain, and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy Annka Kultys Gallery.




Written by Colter Ruland

Edited by Julien Delagrange

Published online on 14/12/2020 by Contemporary Art Issue

© 2020

All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please take up contact with the publisher.


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List of illustrations: Gretchen Andrew (2020). Photo: Nick Berardi. Gretchen Andrew, Cover of Artforum, 2020. Celebratory dishware, novelty champagne bottles, and charcoal on canvas – 60 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist. Gretchen Andrew, Cover of Artforum, 2020. Glass flasks, emergency candles, and Hello Kitty stickers on canvas – 60 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Gretchen Andrew, Map of the EU, 2020. Hope stickers, plastic eggs, plastic grapes, and charcoal on canvas – 60 x 60 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Charcoal, word beads, table cloth, and cork on canvas – 60 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Iron-on movie scenes, good luck charms, and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Joker cards, bubble gum, foam quarters, and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Poke stickers, bubbles, cookbook cutouts and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Gretchen Andrew, Best MFA, 2020. Princess shower curtain, and charcoal on canvas – 48 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist.


All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please take up contact with the publisher.

 

Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders. However, if you feel you have inadvertently been overlooked, please write to info@contemporaryartissue.com.

 

Contemporary Art Issue is part of the Amazon Associates program and earns money by commission on directed sales on Amazon.

 

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