san-francisco

San Francisco

An engaging selection of polymer-media painted wall plaques by James W. McManus recently exhibited at the Ala Gallery (Arlene Lind Associates) resembled large, flat, ingeniously conceived cutouts, while their surfaces provided the grounds for dynamic geometric designs in automobile paints and lacquers, exploiting in novel and inventive ways tensions generated by optical counterpoint with the complex edge-shapes or two-dimensional “silhouettes” of the plaques. Within the simple limitations of this plaque format, McManus demonstrates keen resourcefulness. In much more than the edge-pattern or silhouette of the plaque as a whole does he exploit the many possible potentialities of the wall surrounding the plaques. Often, for example, a patterned aperture in the plaque permits the wall to function as “negative shape,” while the edges of the plaques are frequently utilized for subtly contrived

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