With his recent paintings, Michael Shankman reveals interiors and exteriors of collapsing homesteads from suburban areas of Colorado, the area where he grew up. Shards of color and structural elements are depicted in large, explosive compositions that stand in comparison to his careful and delicate renderings of small clusters of suburbia.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
a solo exhibition by Michael Shankman
March 1 – 15, 2010
Opening Reception Thursday March 4, 2010 6-8pm
January 1, 2010
With his recent paintings, Michael Shankman reveals interiors and exteriors of collapsing homesteads from suburban areas of Colorado, the area where he grew up. He contrasts imagery of contemporary dwellings built adjacent to century old homes. Shards of color and structural elements are depicted in large, explosive compositions that stand in comparison to his careful and delicate renderings of small clusters of suburbia.
The upcoming solo exhibition by Shankman, Dream Home, marks the continuation of an ongoing theme within his work: using the lens of architecture to express human values. Where his paintings once commented on fears of what is to come, this new series embodies the concept of ambition and the American dream. Centuries ago people migrated to this uninhabited frontier to build new lives, full of promise. Shankman sees similarities in the present-day migration of hopeful newcomers who continue to make their way to this mountain region, to build their homes among the skeletal remains of their predecessors’ dreams. The artist defines with paint brushes and pigments the inescapable reality that we have come no closer to finding Utopia in the American West.
Shankman’s process varies, but most of these images were inspired directly by places along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, where mining attracted a wave of ambitious settlers in the mid- to late- 1800s. Abandoned homesteads dot the open space and are intrinsic to the landscape. Using photographs and sketches as starting points, Shankman translates this realistic imagery into a more interpretive aesthetic of decay and abandonment.
The suburban element follows a similar process of interpretive representation. The population of the Front Range has nearly doubled in twenty years, altering the landscape dramatically. Where once there was open space and farmland, suburban sprawl now extends to the horizon. Shankman’s small, square, modular panels mimic the standardization of newly developed enclaves, their modesty a reflection of their fragility.
The artist reception for Dream Home will be held First Thursday, March 4 from 6-8pm at HANG ART. This event is free and open to the public.
HANG ART is located at 567 Sutter Street, between Mason and Powell Streets. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm. For further information or high resolution images, please call 415 434 4264.
415 434 4264