NEW YORK, NY.- Lyons Wier Gallery
presents On Location, by James Rieck and celebrate their 20th year in the art industry.
In his latest series of paintings, James Rieck's new muse is his 'self-imposed dislocation.' Eight months ago, Rieck uprooted his long-time residence and studio/safe house in Baltimore, MD, and transplanted himself 'on location' in downtown Los Angeles, CA -- the home of infinite 'locations'.
The artist states, "One's relationship with their environment is a critical definer of how they feel about themselves and the world. The artist's studio is the place where artists usually feel at ease to experiment and explore. The idea behind the new body of work was to explore what a different environment does to the artist's 'natural' approach. Does one's environment affect the outcome? What happens when one consciously disrupts their 'safe' environment, and therefore the 'natural' outcome of their artwork? This is the idea for "On Location" -- the pursuit of dislocation or purposeful disruption to find a different result."
In a conversation with the artist, Rieck asked, "Is Los Angeles/Hollywood the land where dreamers transplant themselves, hit it big and find their pot of gold? Or, is it the seedy underside where dreams are broken and hopes are dashed?" Either way, the mere fact that these simplified scenarios may seamlessly coexist, yet not exist, are the myths perpetuated by the magic of the movie industry. It is this disconnect between posturing and position that has fascinated Rieck about his new surroundings.
Rieck has always sifted source material from commercial advertising catalogs. But for first time, the artist has deviated away from exclusively using commercial catalogs by introducing imagery from manufactured studio locations. It is obvious that the self-imposed exile to Hollywood and the celluloid scene of Los Angeles has influenced his current work. Like the magic of movies, our beliefs are momentarily suspended as we gaze at these images of beautiful people, visiting exotic locations, indulging in the finest that life has to offer, knowing all the while that the compositions are make-believe.
The paintings in On Location are compositions painted from digitally composited studies of figures in grandiose landscapes. The figures are clearly models poached from advertisements and the landscapes are classic displays of manufactured nature; but combined, they are 'on location'! The clothing models have been transported to exotic lands, but we know that they are not actually there. These people were not in these places; they were not interacting with the nature. This revelation brings home an almost universal feeling of displacement, and yet no matter how disquieting, there is a peaceful feeling of serenity, as if that is exactly how the narratives and compositions should be.
James Rieck earned both his MFA and his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Glasgow School of Art. He has shown at the Flag Foundation, New York, Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, and the Corcoran Museum, Washington, DC. Rieck's work is present in the Burger Collection, the Bollag-Rothschild Collection, Switzerland, and the Chadha Collection, The Netherlands. Rieck lives and works in Los Angeles and has been represented by Lyons Wier Gallery since 2003.