Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to present riot rose summery, an exhibition of new paintings by John McAllister. Drawing from the artist’s ability to forge new connections between past and present, pattern and depth, the large rectangular works crop views from irradiated, frosted interiors. As the title of the show suggests, superheightened images give rise to bold experiments. The palette — restricted to a few vibrant colors of pink, lavender, and periwinkle blue — evoke suspension, reverie, and a kind of night vision. With this series, McAllister continues to build on previous works, sights set on landscapes and interiors, and the interplay therein.
McAllister is known for his large-scale paintings and panoramas that touch on the histories of modernism, fauvism, and postmodernism. The optical intensity of the arrangement of surface, pattern, decoration and lapidary forms construct lean layers of highly impacted spaces. Appropriately for the gallery’s generous space, this is a significant opportunity to appreciate the selection and arrangement of the paintings. Previous experiments with screens and three-dimensional works brought forth new and unexpected textures. With this new series of wall works, reveries encounter views in the angle of the garden, an air both of luxury and maturity.
The image of the view from a domestic interior or a landscape is a kind of folded representation. There are angles, corners, and patterns that position a situation in repose. The spaces are enchanted and gifted with bonds of attachment and distraction. The viewer is reminded of how contingent our most intimate experiences are. The display of works suggest a fragmented array of moments between order and wildness, an echo of the healing aspects of analogy.
The paintings play with notions of what might be pleasurable and what might be discomfiting. McAllister puts surfaces into play with one another which create moments of release and contraction. Influenced by the likes of Matisse, Bonnard and Braque, he draws much inspiration from the history of painting, but reassembles those quoted moments to the world of the relativity of objects and contexts. Against these surfaces, geometrical non-realities bump up against familiar images like patterns, plants and trees in order to defamiliarize them through unusual perspectives, modulated surfaces, and a surprising array of tones. The principal planes are colored masses with the contour of objects pinned down to the surface of a perfect silhouette: synthetic, sculptural and spontaneous, the image looks intoxicated.
The apparitional images are informed by a complex index of views — naturalistic, realistic, touristic, photographic, urban, urbane — strongly influenced by what might be utterly sublime. The views are superimposed upon one another, enclosed in a series of painted events. The compositions generate a continuous conjuring of planes and landscapes that evoke places, objects, and perspectives. Highly metaphorical, the contemporary overlay describes what might not be a landscape or an interior at all.
— Itza Vilaboy
John McAllister (b. 1973, Slidell, Louisiana) holds an M.F.A from the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena (2007), where he was a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Program recipient, and a B.F.A from the University of Texas, Austin (1999). Since 2008 his work has been presented in several solo exhibitions internationally. Recent and notable group exhibitions include ‘The Shell (Landscapes, Portraits, & Shapes), curated by Eric Troncy’, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris (2015); ‘L’Almanach 14’, Le Consortium, Dijon (2014); ‘Don’t Look Now’, curated by 247365, New York City, New York (2014); and ‘American Exuberance’, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2011). John McAllister lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts.