Adam Scott


June 4-24, 2016

RECORDINGS: Painting as recording, recording as painting. Like a mirage, the forms in Adam Scott’s paintings are at once beautiful and eerie, unreal as the visual ramblings of a delirious time traveler. The inherent sci-fi qualities of the work however are only a means to an end, as Scott’s aesthetic aims to undermine the illusion of his imagery. The seamlessness of these schematically depicted images enables the viewer’s expectation to be thwarted: what appears to be modernist abstraction transforms itself into unnamable forms, mutating back and forth between hallucination and reality.

These shamanistic pour paintings expunge the digital imagery once prominent in his work. Like the desert, this foray into dystopian abstraction presents the austerity of abandonment. His paintings are built on their back, constructed like sheets of concrete. Scott embraces the gravity and physical properties of paint-as-material—pure medium of image construction with little intervention.

The totemic paintings are devoid of the picturesque, yet haunt themselves with phantasmic landscapes—form following the fictitious narrative of the all too certain future. Tactile and retinal phenomena pour against his windswept architecture; visions of Astral America sweep across the canvas. Scott time travels back to now, bringing back tiny bits of data: horizontal: speculative: delirious: incarnate: flow. His glowing works are the immortal space paintings found washed up on plastic beaches— ritualized talismans for our mortgaged world.


Adam Scott is a painter based in Chicago, and received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. He has taught in the Painting and Drawing Department, as well as the Contemporary Practices Department at SAIC since 1999. His most recent solo exhibition was Silent Runnings at Julius Caesar in Chicago, and also recently exhibited at the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan as part of the group exhibition Takashi Murakami's Superflat Collection - From Shōhaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer.