Shannon Finley "Paintings for the Future"

Shannon Finley is an artist based in Berlin, Germany. His recent paintings were on display at Jessica Silverman Gallery in SF. This show packed a lot of punch in person. 

"Finley creates geometric abstractions that belong to the world of science fiction. They pursue ambitious and adventurous formal logics whilst drawing on the art historical trajectories of Op Art, Futurism and Cubism. The paintings’ aesthetic intelligence engages the eye and the mind; their distinct atmospheres and sensual surfaces speak to our emotional and physical selves.  

These “Paintings for the Future” have myriad associations including mathematical models, psychedelia, 3D virtual worlds, mineral crystals, and stained glass windows. The artist attributes the energy and dynamism of his work to the influence of the electronic music he plays and listens to in the studio. As he puts it, “I try to make paintings that overwhelm you visually like a room full of loud music, but then give way to a kind of meditative silence.” 

Finley builds up as many as forty layers of paint using a mixture of acrylics and clear gels. Instead of using a paintbrush, the artist pulls paint across the canvas with razor- sharp, custom- made, stainless steel palette knives. The result is a surface that seems to radiate light. It bears no trace of the artist’s hand, but is nevertheless irreducible and unique. Finley’s time-consuming process is not flaunted, but revealed obliquely in the works’ pensive moods and gooey, painterly edges." - Jessica Silverman Gallery