Neighborhoods: Up Close and From Afar

James Conaway

December 5, 2015-January 16, 2016

Neighborhoods: Up Close and From Afar

Opening reception: December 5, 2015-January 16, 2016

For this exhibition, James Conaway continues to look to the local urban landscape to inform his paintings. He uses abstract compositions to illustrate the neighborhoods near his home and studio, both within the heart of the city.

Conaway’s fresh, contemporary perspective of his surrounding topography – the metamorphosis of the city brought on by ever-present construction sites in downtown Minneapolis – informs the robust, yet sensual lines of his paintings as well as their rich palette of primary colors. The tension between block-like geometric forms and soft, airy curves deftly define the heightened energy of Conway’s everyday environment, where the structure, lines and colors of the landscape are constantly in flux. About this body of work, Conaway writes:

The paintings in this exhibition are about change, growth and the resulting construction sites that I witness daily from walks through my home neighborhood of Nicollet Island East Bank and my studio neighborhood of the North Loop. I see these images of construction from up close and from afar. I see them in the bright mid-day sun and at night when the construction sites are illuminated by bright security spotlights. This change in light alters the landscape’s forms, and distorts the perspective of the city silhouetted against the night sky.

Conaway is a former Hamline University professor who taught studio art and art history for over three decades. He is now a full-time artist with a studio in the Traffic Zone building, a restored warehouse cooperatively owned and shared by 25 local artists. He has been represented by Groveland Gallery for over 15 years, and has exhibited his work extensively throughout the United States, including the Walker Art Center, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

The artist will be present at the opening reception on Saturday, December 5 from 2 to 5 p.m. The exhibition runs concurrently with Paperwork, a group exhibition of small landscapes on paper in the main gallery.