Alan Hathaway is an artist born in London and currently based in The North East of England. His work is held in private collections internationally as well as the British Museum’s drawing and print archive.
Using installation, collage, print, text and film, he makes highly reductive works often in response to site – re presenting cultural references, or fragments, drawn from the recent histories of popular music and abstract painting.
As a teenager growing up in Britain during the 1980s, music offered a compelling alternative to the limited and claustrophobic suburban environment which surrounded him. Jamie Reid’s graphics for the Sex Pistols and Peter Saville’s work for Factory Records (both projects with roots in Situationism and Dada) were pivotal in forging his sense of the apolitical, the aesthetic and the absurd as tactics capable of resisting everyday orthodoxies – introducing him to collage, appropriation and the monochrome.
Works like Blue Monday(2021) reference a minor, yet for many highly significant act of defiance – when the band New Order insisted on playing live (badly) on a TV show where they were expected to mime. Mass produced industrial materials and a language of abstract ‘expanded’ signs are used to re present the Dan Flavin inspired set design (originally seen collectively on 31.03.83 by several million Top of The Pops viewers) as both a relic and a proposal.
Whilst his graphics reference the aesthetic feel and limited resources we associate with early punk zines – the works acknowledge the way in which digital technology and social media fundamentally changes the nature of what can be achieved technically and the spaces that printed material objects might now occupy.
The artist sees all of his work as an ongoing attempt to connect historic and contemporaneous ideas through a playful examination of aesthetics, form, materiality and collective cultural experience.