John McAllister

calm clamor ringing sonorous
February 1—March 1, 2021

John McAllister’s paintings deliver shimmering images of nature with the sensation of seeing from an interior; a body in a room. McAllister is known for his dynamic, phosphorescent palette, which—through this desire to convey sensation—seems to arrive automatically rather than predeterminately. However, over time, choices in scale have become a key factor to the presence of McAllister’s work: moving from large-scale, curved panoramic views in space unfolding through peripheral vision from left to right; to substantial panels on the wall that give the sense of enveloping voids; to smaller, consistently torso-scaled works that act as interior windows. Presented through James Fuentes Online, calm clamor ringing sonorous marks a new departure at a drastically decreased scale through a series of ten new works.

Each measuring 10 x 7 ½ inches, these paintings carry an overtly object-like presence that is amplified through their heavily textured surfaces. This imperfect ground moves away from burden of perfection and manifests a looseness to the image. McAllister has long considered painting to be a “low resolution” media, offering the quality of vision without requiring every last detail. These paintings mark a realization of the small "paintings within paintings" that have populated McAllister’s work over the past 14 years. As with all of his works, this series carries with it a distinct temporality, including both their experiential, observational present (and presence) as well as the longer art historical continuum internal to them. McAllister finishes the works by applying a series of three-word titles to them, which act as brief homonymic guiding poems.

John McAllister (b. 1973 in Slidell, LA; lives and works in Florence, MA) holds a BFA from the University of Texas, Austin and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Recent solo exhibitions include silence sounding sumptuous (2019) and cymbals of sleep uncurtain the night (2018) at James Fuentes, New York; adrift gleaming serenest rustling air, Wentrup, Berlin (2020); botanic haunting soft-static, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (2017); wished-for wilds, Carl Freedman Gallery, London (2017); riot rose summary, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels (2016); chorus clamors sultry, Wentrup Gallery, Berlin (2016); sudden thunder some motley sea, Hagiwara Projects, Tokyo (2015); and serene raving radiant, James Fuentes, New York (2015); as well as a a two-person exhibition alongside Richard Hawkins at Richard Telles, Los Angeles (2019).


John McAllister