The SCAD Museum of Art presents "All at Once in Every Place," an exhibition by SCAD alumnus Abel Macias (B.F.A., illustration, 2002). Macias creates objects, installations and paintings based on his experiences with his immediate surroundings and his insatiable habit of collecting natural objects as well as castoff manufactured items. The artist’s work has been informed by the overconsumption and waste he witnessed while living in New York, New York, which resulted in assembled found-object sculptures. Macias recently moved west, and his paintings and sculptures take inspiration from the brilliant sunsets, strange land formations and surreal nature of the American Southwest.
"All at Once in Every Place" includes recent large- and small-scale oil paintings in which Macias imaginatively interprets the natural world. During his travels throughout the Southwest, Macias found inspiration in the landscape: palms, cacti, sunsets, boulders and various desert land formations are all subject to his artistic exploration. These elements are transcribed and transformed in bright hues and tactile surfaces. A uniting motif in the works is the portal. The artist uses variations of pulsating arched lines as an abstracted portal, which serves as a metaphysical symbol for our position in the natural world and a suggested existence beyond it.
Interspersed among the paintings are small shelves holding combinations of found stones and synthetic rocks of the artist’s making, mimicking boulder forms found in the paintings. These assembled sculptures present a balance between the natural and the man-made. Macias’ stones are carved from Styrofoam and divided by two bright tones, reminiscent of pills. These are placed upon stones that the artist collected, smooth gray spheres that have been buffed and smoothed through natural processes, in contrast with Macias’ hard-edged, vibrant interpretation.
A sculpture stands central in the gallery, composed of wood, wire, rubber, rope and an electrical outlet. Balancing on the limbs of an inverted branch, the sculpture is a stand-in for a small tree. This prosthetic plant offers a synthesis of the artist’s oscillation between the natural world and the manufactured.
Macias is a painter, illustrator, builder, art director and visual problem solver. After 15 years of living and working in New York, New York, he now lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He has exhibited his work in New York; Aarhus, Denmark; Miami, Florida; Provincetown, Massachusetts and Savannah, Georgia. Macias’ commercial work has included clients like Warner Brothers, Sony Music, Macy’s and Dr. Martens Footwear, among others.
"All at Once in Every Place" is curated by Ben Tollefson, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions.
Artist talk: Thursday, May 10, 2018, 5 p.m.
The exhibition is free and open to the public.