Shane McAdams: Beat a Path, and Make It Fast

James Watrous Gallery

Mar. 18, 2024 - May. 8, 2016

1921 E. Mifflin St.
Madison, 53704
(608) 265-2500

Shane McAdams’ landscape paintings have an eerie, unsettling quality. For the most part they are centered on familiar, classic scenes—cornfields, wind farms, craggy deserts and mountain lakes—unpeopled and largely untroubled by the weather. But alongside each traditional, finely detailed landscape image, McAdams introduces a jarringly synthetic element. He inserts brightly colored stripes where the sky or water should be, like Northern Lights gone wild, or swirls the clouds into surreal, impossible patterns. Sometimes the synthetic imagery becomes a frame around the landscape, or a layer of texture and pattern through which the scene can be glimpsed, as if McAdams were painting parallel dimensions that exist alongside one another. This impression of a parallel reality is heightened by McAdams use of obviously artificial, even toxic materials: ballpoint pen ink, resin, glue, and polystyrene. Fascinated by the effects of solvents, heat, gravity, and wind on these materials, McAdams explores the edges of their expressive capacity, emphasizing the contrast between the natural and the artificial in his work.

Return to list of all exhibitions