A 30-second online art project:

Peter Burr, Sunshine Monument

Learn more

Learn more at

Skip to main content

Andrew Spence


Andrew Spence (born 1947) is an American artist known for abstract paintings that combine a minimalist vocabulary with playful references to the observed world. In the 1970s and 1980s, he gained recognition as one of a number of younger artists who were re-examining geometric modernism through a contemporary lens that invited humor and reference to everyday objects and life experience into the tradition. Spence's method of distilling visual phenomena into simple, emblematic images has been compared to Ellsworth Kelly, but his work has differed in its more even balance between abstraction and recognition (often aided by the picture titles), intuitive approach, and varied, expressive paint surfaces. Art in America critic Ken Johnson wrote that his work maintains "an ironic tension between lofty purism of modernist geometry and earth-bound ordinariness of the vernacular sources." In later paintings, Spence has increasingly obscured the original inspirations of his abstractions, in both form and titling. His work belongs to the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Endowment for the Arts.

Wikidata identifier


View the full Wikipedia entry

Information from Wikipedia, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Accessed May 10, 2024.


Spence's painting use sharp, geometric forms, but often have descriptive elements that suggest inspiration from physical objects.

Country of birth

United States


Artist, painter

ULAN identifier



Andrew Spence

View the full Getty record

Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 10, 2024.