Alan Magee:  Paintings & Tapestries
September 19 – November 3, 2007
Opening reception:  Wednesday, September 19, 7-9pm

8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90048
Contact: Niccolò Brooker/Marvella Muro
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Alan Magee, “Syllabary”, 2007, acrylic on panel, 40 x 60 inches.

Los Angeles, California – Forum Gallery presents the exhibition Alan Magee: Paintings and Tapestries from September 19th through November 3rd, 2007, with an opening reception Wednesday evening September 19th, from 7-9:00 p.m.

One of today’s most exceptionally talented and highly acclaimed artists, Alan Magee’s intense scrutiny of visual objects and uncanny ability to capture forms in nature are fully demonstrated in this exhibition, which includes eleven paintings, four low-relief sculptures, and five large-scale Jacquard tapestries, woven by a Belgian loom to Magee’s precise digital specifications.

One of the most extraordinary paintings in the exhibition is Syllabary.  Large in scale, measuring 40 x 60 inches, it depicts a grouping of stones, the artist’s most renowned and sought-after subject matter. These stones are rendered in larger sizes in the center of the composition, with increasingly smaller ones extending outwards towards the surface edges so as to generate an elongated triangular effect. The mesmerizing, Zen-like quality of this painting is generated by the complex optical relationships which the individual stones have to each other, some nearly touching, others abutting or even overlapping.  Additionally, each stone maintains its own spatial relationship to the painting’s monochromatic background, a trademark of Magee’s more recent work.

Smaller panels such as Engagement and Confessions also speak volumes, the former depicting a single slot hole-puncher, the latter an artist’s palette-knife.  Slight oxidation can be detected in the otherwise sturdy-looking handles of the hole-puncher while the palette-knife’s handle and blade are colored by residually dried daubs of paint from previous applications.  The ubiquitous monochromatic background serves to intensify and endure the viewer’s contemplative experience of these object-subjects.

Alan Magee was born in Newtown, Pennsylvania, and in the mid-1960s enrolled at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and later the Philadelphia College of Art.  Dissatisfied with the absence of realistic drawing in the Fine Art department, Magee found himself preferring the level of meticulous detail explored in the Illustration department.  His thirst for exquisite realism led to an early career as creator of book covers and illustrations for magazines such as Time, the Atlantic, and the New York Times Magazine.  In the 1970s the artist relocated to Maine and began choosing his own subjects from nature and industry, using his skill as an illustrator to create fine art.

Magee’s work has been the subject of eight monographs, and has been featured in solo exhibitions at the James A. Michener Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; and the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, among others.  His work is included in the public collections of the de Young Museum, San Francisco, California; the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio; and in many private collections.

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