san-francisco

Chris Ballantyne

Hosfelt Gallery

It was no great surprise when crumbling subprime mortgages tipped the US economy off balance recently; the residences that the loans almost bought are literally and figuratively built on illusions, whether financial fantasies, cheap construction materials, or ill-considered locations. These conditions form the distinctly shaky foundations not only of contemporary American architecture but of contemporary American life in general, and they are the central focus of Chris Ballantyne’s paintings on paper, wood, and wall. Ballantyne’s work represents desolate, depopulated suburban and exurban environments with crisply geometric images of tract homes set in verdant flatlands. His impoverished landscapes evoke places where development has sprouted on pastoral plains, resulting in something like Charles Sheeler’s paintings of factories without those works’ sense of the sublime, or their maker’s

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