The Arsenal Gallery is proud to present Brooklyn artist Shane McAdams's Fresh Green Beast, a series of paintings in which he explores the line between the natural and the manmade. The exhibit opens on Thursday, March 10 and runs through Friday, April 15, 2011.
Some of McAdams's paintings reveal painstakingly executed romantic landscapes though apertures framed by abstractions made from materials such as Elmer's Glue, ballpoint pen, and correction fluid. Others images create protean patterns caused by chance, suggesting natural scenery. McAdams's artistic explorations test the tradition of landscape paintings, and he views these abstractions as more natural than his realistic representations.
"Central Park's Arsenal Gallery welcomes Shane McAdams' paintings which contrast the lush beauty of our parks with the adjacent environment," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "McAdams brilliantly highlights the juxtaposition of naturalistic landscapes, such as the man-made Central Park, and its surrounding architectural facades."
The exhibit's title, Fresh Green Beast, plays off a line in The Great Gatsby, when Nick Caraway looks out over the Long Island Sound and imagines it as the original Dutch settlers saw it. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "...and as the moon rose higher, the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes-a fresh, green breast of the new world." McAdams's Beast is a reflection of our urban wilderness.
Growing up in the deserts of the Southwest, McAdams was inspired by the local topography, shaped by natural forces and as artful as any imagery he sought to create. In his new series on Central Park, McAdams elaborates on man's relentless attempts to emulate and outperform nature, evident in the architectural facades that border the park and Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's artistic vision.
Shane McAdams received his MFA from the Pratt Institute. He has shown his work at Margaret Thatcher Projects, Janet Kurnatowski, Allegra LaViola Gallery, and Marlborough, Chelsea, among others. He has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has served on panels and given guest critiques at Maryland Institute College of Art, School of Visual Arts, and Cooper Union. McAdams has contributed to the Brooklyn Rail since 2003.
The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the third floor of the Parks Department Headquarters, in Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the Arsenal Gallery, please call 212-360-8163.