West Bend, WI
Shane McAdams makes nontraditional landscapes that feature structures and forms using mundane industrial materials such as Elmer’s glue, resin, and ballpoint pens, McAdams explores the boundaries between the “natural” and the “artificial,” the “concrete” and the “abstract” as those ideas relate to the traditional notion of landscape painting.
He often paints traditional imagery back into these captured physical moments, urging the viewer to consider what makes an object ‘natural’ or ‘real’ in the first place. He seeks the answers to these questions in unlikely collisions and connections between material, process, and subject matter, confirming art historian T.J. Clark’s notion that art seeks out ‘the edges of things…and prefers the syntactically unstable and semantically malformed.” Clark has also suggested that the history of the easel painting has been to create illusionistic worlds where a viewer can ‘enter and dream.’ McAdams wishes to expose that illusion, hoping that the viewer will stop and wake up, and perhaps gain a better understanding of how we register a truly authentic experience.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website