Justin McAllister ‘Aftereffect’ Exhibition at Torch Gallery

17 Nov

On Saturday November 27, 2010 between 5 and 7 pm at the Lauriergracht 94 in Amsterdam, TORCH Gallery will present Aftereffect, an exhibition of new work by American painter Justin McAllister.

After the opening, the work will be on show until Saturday, January 1st. In his work, McAllister translates the visual (mis)information of the digital age into a representational painterly language. The resulting works stem from the long history of painting, and yet deliver a contemporary visual experience.

Aftereffect offers a new direction for his painterly practice. While McAllister is mostly known for his highly detailed depictions of burning wreckage in nature inspired by the Hudson River School, the new works have developed into a more personal and vibrant style.

He is focusing on direct optical experiences such as the light of an aurora or the distortion of a Photoshop filter. The title of the show is derived from the video-editing platform, in which layers of digital effects distort and alter imagery. By freeing these effects from the discipline of digital imaging, he creates a world in which image editing filters become a tangible occurrence.

While his previous works were interpreted as a comment on the fragile state of human existence, these new pieces do not intend symbolical criticism. Instead, they rely strictly on their visual experiences, or as the artist puts it, their ‘gut punches’. The subject however still seems to lie within the dialectic between that which humans describe as progress and the constant backdrop of nature. By placing these contemporary visual impulses within a classical existential context, the illusion of a coherent image is enforced. This approach places these works firmly in the realm of magical realism, but with a firm grasp on the troublesome definition of the ‘real’ within contemporary society.

The work of Justin McAllister has been shown in different venues worldwide, ranging from New York to Paris and Madrid. He has received several awards, grants and residencies, and this will be his second solo show at TORCH. Alongside his exhibition Aftereffect there will also be an exhibition by the young Dutch Photographer Popel Coumou. This show will also open on Saturday the 27th of November. The gallery is opened from Thursday to Saturday between 12 and 6 pm and by appointment. Both artists will be present at the opening.

McAllister lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

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