“And you don’t think it’s time that someone had a dream again, huh? You don’t think that it’s time that someone cared enough to have a dream? What about ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶r̶e̶s̶t̶s̶ painting? You don’t think anyone should care about ̶t̶h̶e̶s̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶e̶s̶t̶s̶ painting? What’s going to happen if ̶t̶h̶e̶s̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶e̶s̶t̶s̶ painting and all this incredible beauty is lost for all time?”
“It’s been too long. People have other stuff to do now”
Like a mirage, the landscapes in Adam Scott’s paintings are at once beautiful and eerie, unreal as the visual ramblings of a delirious time traveler. The inherent Sci-Fi qualities of the work however are only a means to an end, as Scott’s aesthetic aims to undermine the illusion of his imagery. The seamlessness of these schematically depicted images enables the viewer’s expectation to be thwarted: what appears to be landscape transforms itself into unnameable forms, mutating back and forth between hallucination and reality.
These shamanistic pour paintings expunge the digital imagery once prominent in his work. Like the desert, this foray into dystopian abstraction presents the austerity of abandonment. His paintings are built on their back, constructed like sheets of concrete. Scott embraces the gravity and physical properties of paint-as-material—pure medium of image construction with little intervention.
The totemic paintings are devoid of the picturesque, yet haunt themselves with phantasmic landscapes—form following the fictitious narrative of the all too certain future. Tactile and retinal phenomena pour against his windswept architecture; visions of Astral America sweep across the canvas. Scott time travels back to now, bringing back tiny bits of data: horizontal: speculative: delirious: incarnate: flow. His glowing works are the immortal space paintings found washed up on plastic beaches— ritualized talismans for our mortgaged world. These painting suggests a future type of erosion, one that is completely unnatural and human made, yet inevitable. Adam Scott’s paintings perform the work of painting, they enact the work of art, they blaze on.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Painting and Drawing, Contemporary Practises (1999).
BFA, 1994,California State University, Long Beach;
MFA, 1998, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Selected Exhibitions: KGG, Leipizg, Germany; KGG, Berlin, Germany; DoART Gallery, Seoul, Korea; GAD, Oslo, Norway; Roebling Hall, New York, NY; Chicago Cultural Cente, Chicago; Kaoshiung Museum of Fine Art, Taiwan; Prague Biennale, Czech Republic; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Bibliography: Here and Now, catalog (Chicago); Crossings, catalog (Chicago – Taiwan); Paint by Number, catalog (Seoul).
Selected Collections: Takashi Murakami, Japan; LVMH Collection (Bernard & Delphine Arnault), Paris; Larry and Marilyn Fields, Chicago; Helmut Schuster, Berlin; Dr. Scott Hunter, Chicago