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Mar 18 2017 - May 21 2017

Alec Egan's work has been defined by his robust painting approach, using multi-dimensional surfaces to construct narrative scenes, paint globs and smears that cover matte surfaces and detailed patterns. 

In this new offering of paintings, Egan's technique is no different, if not more refined, as he works conceptually to tackle the architecture and history of the California Heritage Museum. Playing off of the Museum's original incarnation - a turn of the century Victorian home - the exhibition aims to revert the converted second story exhibition space back into the initial layout of the home by mirroring the original architecture of the space with the subject matter of the paintings. Each room of the exhibition is occupied by paintings that depict the original space’s utility. For example, where a second story bedroom once was, Egan has painted a large bedroom scene, with subsequent paintings depicting details of that bedroom scene. Whether paintings of lush flower patterned wallpaper against flower patterned furniture, or muted blue grids of tiled bathroom floors defiled by impasto ashtrays and books, these unique groupings of psychologically provocative "interior" paintings define and populate certain living areas of the second floor. 

Using design elements from 1977 (when the museum was moved from its original location on Ocean Avenue to its current one on Main Street) through the present, these groupings create an experiential environment that hovers somewhere between installation and traditional exhibition. The resulting world traverses a nostalgia that is part familiar and part fictionalized. It localizes yet decentralizes the viewer while summoning the power of a collective domestic past and the psychological effect of design/architecture. Pointing to an array of bisections, museum vs "home", design vs function, installation vs exhibition, public vs private, Egan's conceptual premise probes the temporal nature of meaning and to which spaces we ascribe value and why.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Painting
  • American
  • Contemporary
  • Alec Egan

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