Posts filed under 'News'

UNVEILED; National Portrait Gallery- Gala Mystery Postcards-3/3/09


I made and entry on my blog in January saying that I had done 2 portraits on postcards after the NPG approached artists to do so for their fundraising gala on 3rd  March which I think they were selling for £200 . I can now reveal which 2 were mine.

They are about 8″ and the first is a B/W painting of a woman I met in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo and the second is a drawing of a dear friend of mine, Ken Billingham who also features in the next entry.

(If you click on the image they should enlarge)


March 5th, 2009

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS- New Acquisitions – The Smithsonian Institution-(2nd Feb-15th Nov 2009)


The Smithsonian Institution  are currently exhibiting my two paintings of Cormac McCarthy and Murray Gell-Mann which they recently purchased in an installation of new acquisitions at their museum/gallery in  Washington D.C.  It’s a pretty long run and goes on from 2nd February – 15th November 2009.

If you click on the following link it should take you to their museum blog an their is quite an extensive piece about the exhibition.

February 8th, 2009



Plus One Gallery in Chelsea are now representing me in their beautiful triple space gallery in London. They exhibit realist and photorealist works and will be dealing with my personal, none commissioned work -( for example these 4 Doppelganger paintings).

Portrait commission requests are still delt with directly with me through this website and in America with Andreeva Portrait Commissions.


January 24th, 2009

Press Release from Andreeva Gallery regarding Smithsionian acquisition

Here is a new press release from My gallery in Santa Fe ,Andreeva, regarding their recent successful sale of two of my paintings to The Smithsonian Institute in Washingto DC.

 I’ll be posting some new work in the next 2 weeks or so.

September 11th, 2008

Talks about my work at the National portrait gallery- 2009.


I will be doing a series of  3 talks about my work at the National Portrait Gallery next year in their excellent lecture theatre. They are scheduled for 15th, 16th, and 17th June 2009 in the morning of each day and will coincide with the opening of next years BP Portrait Awards.
The talks will focus upon all of the portraiture works that I have done from 1991 to present day. It will largely be in sequence from my early work in 1991 when I was working on my MA project and I will explain my thoughts, reasons  and techniques behind each of the portraits. I will be discussing paintings and  drawings and showing sequences depicting the build up/progress  of a selection of my paintings. I would imagine that the talks will last around one and a half hours and are primarily aimed at school groups but I’m sure that they wouldn’t mind small individual groups attending too.

If you would like to know any more about these 3 events please contact Tanja Gangar, (Learning Manager at the NPG) on;

August 10th, 2008

Smithsonian Institution purchase 2 of my paintings


The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC have puchased 2 of my paintings for their permanent collection. It is reputed to be the biggest museum in the world and this is my first acquisition into a major American collection so I’m delighted to have some of my work represented there.

The 2 paintings are both portraits of very eminent American figures; Cormac McCarthy and Murray Gellman.

I first met them in 2004 when my gallery invited me over to Santa Fe, New Mexico to do a portrait based project exploring “The people of New Mexico” where I drove around the state looking for interesting faces. Cormac and Murray were based at a “think tank/ research unit ” situated in the middle of the New Mexican desert where they develop their own projects and hold philosophical discussions around tables.

I would like to thank The Andreeva Gallery in Santa Fe and especially Pam for her relentless enthusiasm and professionalism in placing the works into the Smithsonian’s collection over the past few months and also special  thanks to Francisco for his generosity  and kind gesture.
Cormac McCarthy is widely considered to be one of the greatist living American writers. In 1992 he wrote “All the Pretty Horses” which was later made into a film starring Matt Damon. In 2005 he wrote “No Country for Old Men” which more recently was made into a film directed by the Coen brothers starring Tommy Lee Jones and won 4 Academy Awards at this years Oscars including “Best Film”. In 2007 he won The Pulitzer Prize for literature. He is notoriously reclusive and very rarely gives interviews so I was incredibly lucky to get him to sit for me in Santa Fe, I think something just clicked between us and we seemed to get on.

Murray Gell-Mann is a world renowned Physicist who has made discoveries and developments in “Quantum Physics” and in 1969 he won the Nobel Prize for physics. I loved his “eccentric scientist” look and the fact that he wore a Native American Indian bootlace tie.

May 5th, 2008

Leukaemia charity art auction in Birmingham


I made this drawing very recently for a charity art auction in aid of Leukemia research at the Queen Elizabeths Hospital in Birmingham. It is a drawing of a Voodoo Doll that I brought in New Orleans who now sits on my shelf in the studio. I haven’t been cooking up  a voodoo hex on anybody, it’s just a lovely piece of magical iconography which to me is extremely aesthetically pleasing.

The main auction is on 20th May at  St Paul’s gallery in Birmingham and there will be a few days prior to this where you can take a look at the full body of work which will be auctioned.

 Dig deep and bid hard.

For more information about the event please take a look at the following website.


April 20th, 2008

Current exhibitions

  1. best-bandana-33-blog.jpg7-neil-and-glenys-kinnock-crop.JPGolder-images-004.jpg9.jpg

Artists Process – National Portrait Gallery, 4th Dec 2007 -1st June 2008 (rooms 37 + 37a)

is an exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery showing how artists put a painting together, including roughs, photographs, preliminary drawings and paintings, diaries, design notes and ideas, final compositions etc… They are showing my painting of Neil and Glenys Kinnock together with all of the support work and material.


2. Labour Intensive – The New Art Gallery, Walsall – (12th Jan – 11th May 2008)

Group exhibition featuring work inspired by Black Country industry. There are a few of my very early paintings from my MA project back in 1991 when I did a big project based around the de-industrialisation of the West Midlands Steel Industry and its affects on the community. I visited may of the old hot press rolling mills, foundries and chain makers and focused on the people. You will see a distinct change in style from those days to the work that I do now but the human figure still predominates.

3. Paintings and drawings – Andreeva gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. (until 1st March 2008)

A selection of paintings and drawings will be on display until 1st March which are predominantly portraiture based.

4. The Wales Portrait Award 2008 – (2 year touring exhibition of Wales). 

Triptych portrait of the late Ronald James, also the subject of a recent , larger painting.


5. Bandanna will be on display at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition at The Mall Gallery from 24th April – 11th May 2008.

January 17th, 2008



I was watching Gordon Brown make his maiden speech at the Labour party conference on More 4 news when my mother  phoned gasping for breath.

“Your’re on Mastermind !!!!”

“What ?”

“You’ve just been a question on mastermind”.

Then a series of telephone calls began, first of all Anne’s sister, Jane.

“You’ve hit the big time now Andy, you’ve just been a question on University Challenge”.

Turns out the show was actually University Challenge and the question was “Andrew Tift won the 2006 BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery with his triptych portrait of Kitty, who was her former husband?”

Apparently the pin heads looked at each other and didn’t have a clue. Several more telephone calls later and we switched over. There was a series of questions about 30 year old punk albums provoking the answers “Pistols, Jam, Damned and Clash” which I answered with consumate ease as I sat back brimming with pride at my knowledge of Punk.  Turns out that was the only one I got right apart from a question about the magnificent John Lee Hooker. I only ever get the art and music ones.


September 25th, 2007

Talks – at The New Art Gallery, Walsall by Andrew Tift

  • On Saturday 30th June 2007 at 11:00am I will be dong a talk about my exhibition based aroud Kitty Godley. I will talk about my experience of meeting her, about all of the paintings, drawings and etchings and my thoughts and intentions behind them and I will be having a general discussion with collections curator Jo Digger where she will be asking me questions and I will also answer any questions from the audience.
  • On Saturday 21st July 2007 at 2:00pm I will be doing a slide/powerpoint  presentation about my work in general from 1991 to present day featuring some 40 images.

June 4th, 2007

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