Wallspace is proud to present “Specimens and Artifacts," a solo show of paintings by Los Angeles and Joshua Tree artist Matt Adrian.
For “Specimens and Artifacts”—Adrian's first solo exhibition with the gallery—he will fill the space his lush acrylic paintings. Adrian is best known for the book, The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds (Penguin Random House, 2014), a humorous examination of the thoughts of unstable birds. The avian portraits on view at Wallspace range from the delightfully cute to the decidedly sinister, and render his subjects with exacting detail. Yet, rather than duplicating nature, the images work in tandem with his famous non sequitur titles, which offer insightful commentary via philosophically evocative, humorous and sometimes poignant titles. For example in She Drunkenly Approached Me In A Bar, Asked If I Would "Do Her A Rudeness"— And Your Mother And I Have Been Together Ever Since, (2016) Adrian depicts two bluebirds from the wings up— one looks out at the viewer, the other to the viewer's left. Where the birds are situated is ambiguous. Without any references to specific location the paintings become universal portraits. In The Beginning We Called It Love, (2009) also portrays a bird-couple. This time a pair of cardinals, the male a bright red, the female more sombre tones of yellow and orange, her appearance seemingly dejected as if a shadow of its former self. Adrian's creatures almost never fill the frame and more often than not rise from the bottom of the composition perhaps suggesting the potential of flight to the skies beyond.
A striking work, Fairy Stories And Legendary Tales Told In The Darkest Of Dystopian Nights, On The Shore Of A Rising Sea is his largest painting to date and pictures four red macaws riding on the back of a cassowary that steps on the yellow and blue wings of disembodied bird. While Adrian does not depict action he alludes to what can happen in the darkest of dystopian nights.
Matt Adrian received his BFA from Collumbia College Chicago in 1995 and currently resides in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, CA. His work is collected worldwide and has been featured in major magazines, newspapers and books. He has shown his paintings nationally since 2006 including solo exhibitions at Henry Road, Los Angeles (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009) and Nahcotta, Portsmouth, NH (2017, 2016, 2015, 2012). Selected group exhibitions include La Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles, CA (2017), Dunedin Fine Arts Center, Fl (2015), The Thoreau Center in the Presidio, San Francisco, CA (2008) Three Columns Gallery, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2006).