Provenance: The Artist Private Collection, acquired from the artist, c.1952 by descent.
Exhibitions: Michael Andrews, Arts Council of Great Britain, travelled to Hayward Gallery, London, 31 October 1980 - 11 January 1981 Fruit Market Gallery, Edinburgh, 24 January - 21 February 1981; Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, 6 March - 20 April 1981.
Literature: Michael Andrews, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, Hayward Gallery, London, 1980, cat. no. 9 (illustrated b&w p. 54).
Painted in 1951-52 Regent's Park is one of Michael Andrews's most important early paintings and was included in his Arts Council retrospective in 1980. The catalogue for the exhibition records the following about this picture:
While a student Michael Andrews was influenced by a number of historic masters. Piero della Francesca and Seurat show in this picture; later he looked at the painters of `touch', particuVelazquez and Goya. Of the work of contemporary painters William Coldstream's, Francis Bacon's and Alberto Giacometti's made the greatest impression. Arts Council of Great Britain, Michael Andrews, London, 1980
In terms of more contemporary references, it is the paintings of the mid and later 1940s by Victor Pasmore that are echoed by Andrews. Pasmore had prominence as one of the leading contemporary British painters of this period. Indeed in 1945 he was the subject of a publication by Penguin Books in their prestigious Penguin Modern Painters series. Several of Pasmore's urban landscapes are illustrated and these garden and park paintings are echoed by Andrews in the delicate rhythms he creates of chair legs and tables, which recalls the spindly tree branches and railings of Pasmore's Hammersmith and Chiswick paintings.
However, Andrews contrasts this precision and intricacy with a direct Cezanne-like treatement of the branches and foliage to create something wholly his own.
As such Regent's Park can be regarded as Andrews's first and most successful early landscape and anticipates the centrality that landscapes, containing human references, would assume in his work.