The novel geometric abstractions and painting process reflect the reductive desert landscape and rugged terrain with sculpted surfaces and spare, bold splashes of vibrant color against neutral backgrounds.
Last fall, David Richard Gallery presented Terraforms, Adam Scott’s newest paintings featuring his novel and physical process that captures less of the actual imagery and more of the physicality and essence of desert landscapes. The work was conceived with Northern New Mexico specifically in mind. The paintings were not literal renderings of the mountainous and rugged terrain, but instead captured the spartan forms and sculpted surfaces like those shaped by centuries of erosion and movement of wind and water as well as upheavals from tectonic shifts deep within the earth. Scott's approach is for the viewer to not only see, but also experience the desert through his sculpted paint and palpable forms.
The paintings in the current exhibition, Adam Scott: Mojave Terraforms actually predate those in the presentation from last fall. Mojave Terraforms emerged from Scott’s "initial encounters with Joshua Tree, Wonder Valley and the Mojave Basin" in Southern California. The imagery in Terraforms was more rigorously reductive and geometric with bolder and vibrant colors. In Mojave Terraforms the compositions are more complex with more of a narrative. In several of the paintings, the shapes seem to be evocative of reptilian, avian and primitive forms, while the palette is a little less acrid and Day Glo. Both series are inspired by earth, sand and sunlight—the most reductive of landscape elements—and their creation the result of moving, cutting, carving and molding the volumized acrylic paint into forms and patterns experienced only in the desert. The results are two very bold series of geometric and colorful abstractions that evoke not only the earth, but the experience of the earth with all of its magical colors and hallucinatory experiences.