ALESSANDRO KEEGAN: After the Rain May 25 - June 22, 2023
Waterhouse & Dodd is pleased to present After the Rain, Alessandro Keegan's debut solo exhibition. Comprised of eleven paintings, the show highlights Keegan's vibrant and exceptionally rendered paintings rich with historical references and metaphysical intrigue. The artist's work will be featured in the upcoming Art Macau: Macao International Art Biennale 2023 this summer, curated by Qiu Zhijie.
"His nature growths have passed through the detailing shops of Tron and emerged omniscient and glowy. These unknown figures are like surveillance towers crossbred with expensive houseplants, each one emanating a quiet warning." - Artforum
Keegan's artworks offer a glimpse into an alternate reality. After the Rain (2023) the title painting of the show, follows the visual tradition of landscape painting and shows the expanse of this parallel world. Here the artist intentionally draws reference to Max Ernst's Europe After the Rain II (1941)- a postapocalyptic scene of Europe in unrecognizable ruin. Other works like Nature Transformer (2023) feature atomic-like forms and celestial orbs, appearing as intimate observations of scientific phenomena. In a post-Covid world, Keegan's imagery alludes to global issues and sentiments; in the artist's words a "time of joys and sorrows, conflicts in the world, chaos and change."
Technically Keegan's process is akin to mediumistic practices of art making, specifically automatic drawings where the artist is compelled to draw in a spontaneous way. The result oscillates between abstraction and representational; mysterious shapes are painted in an intelligibly formal manner. An avid writer and studied art historian, Keegan has described his artistic practice as "Vitreism," or "the mapping of the invisible ... At the heart of Vitreism is the assumption that the material world is not all there is to the human experience." Keegan's work illustrates the tension between direct observation and invisible perception, inspired by evidence of this sensory phenomena in the natural world. The artist draws a parallel between his term Vitreism and the vitreous fluid of the eye's anatomy: a literal signifier of sight. The eye reappears as a motif in Keegan's work, especially in works like Cosmic Tears (2023), and even Nature Transformer (2023) where bulbous shapes take on an uncanny appearance. Keegan has an established visual vocabulary of jewel-like forms, saturated colors, and delicate organic shapes. The artist cites his own visual experiences as source imagery for his abstract paintings, as well as symbolism and nature. Looking at his work, one finds similarity to the Expressionists and Surrealists of the early 20th century. Keegan's interests also lie in mysticism and spirituality, beliefs that are seeing a resurgence in contemporary art, informed by recent attention to Hilma af Klint and members of the Transcendentalist Painting Group like Agnes Pelton. Like these artists, Keegan seeks to achieve expanded consciousness by exploring the depths of the macrocosm.
Alessandro Keegan (b. 1980) lives and works in Upstate New York. The artist holds a Master’s degree in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in painting and drawing, as well as a Master's in Art History from Brooklyn College. His paintings have been exhibited internationally including in New York, Chicago, London, Dublin, Barcelona, Hong Kong, and the Hague. Keegan's art is held in the permanent collection of the College of Psychic Studies in London, UK. Writings about his work have appeared in Artsy, ArtMaze Magazine, Artforum, Elephant Magazine, Masthead Magazine and Ephemera NYC, as well as journals including Helvete (Punctum Books, Brooklyn) and J’ai Froid (Castillo/ Corrales, Paris). In 2022 he exhibited at Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong with guest curator Zoie Yung.
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