Leave a Mark or Dime:
Recent Paintings by Robert A. McCann
June 9 - July 10, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7
Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Leave A Mark Or A Dime, an exhibition of recent paintings by Robert A. McCann on view from June 9 through July 10th at the gallery’s 56 Bogart Street address in Bushwick, Brooklyn. An opening reception will be held Friday, June 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. From 5 to 6 PM on the 10th there will be a special pre-reception with the artist for families with young children, the immuno- compromised, and happy hour go-getters, where masking will be required of all but the little kiddos.
We welcome you to come by this week and visit the show during our opening hours, 12-6 pm from Thursday to Sunday. We will be closed next Saturday and Sunday in honor of the 4th of July holiday.
In his latest body of work, McCann continues to explore the shaky terrain of modern life as interpreted by the untrustworthy narrator self. Inventive visual storytelling in the paintings dissolves the distinctions between memories, current events, history, and dreams. Developed over the last two years, McCann found inspiration for this series in becoming a first-time father at middle age, at the start of a worldwide pandemic. The unreal, constructed space of a painting is a good analog to a world where communication is fragmented and disinformation ascendant. The show’s title nods to this ambiguity of language distressed over time. The unresolved metaphors in this group of paintings allude to big themes of desire and loss, love and hope, progress, and society.
McCann sees himself as “a more-is-more” kind of painter. He approaches painting as a fundamentally fictional space, where different kinds of idea can be approached from odd angles. Sometimes he populates the work with pop culture figures of major and minor fame. These figures will resonate in some way as personal mythologies that stand in for an experience. They also serve as shorthand for a particular sort of character the viewer may recognize. Further, the internet and social media can be seen to have flattened the barrier between celebrities and acquaintances, or between personal space and the news. The off kilter feeling of public and private being drunk from the same firehose has been another theme in McCann’s recent work.
The paintings that make up Leave A Mark Or A Dime are oil paint on canvas, linen, or panel. The surfaces meander from thick to thin, rough to smooth, and careful to chaotic. The multiplicity of painting—the impurity of it—is a guiding force. To physically make a picture that feels believable is a cathartic studio ritual.
Robert A. McCann is based in East Lansing, Michigan, where he teaches Painting and Foundations at Michigan State University. His recent venues of solo exhibition include the University of Arkansas Galleries in Little Rock, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the South Bend Museum of Art, and Artlink Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His artwork can also be seen in the Chicagoland area this fall in the three-person exhibition Layered Meanings at the Evanston Art Center.
Image: "David Copperfield Levitating Over the Grand Canyon" Robert A. McCann, 54 x 66", oil on linen, 2021.