Anthony Adcock

"Mark of the Trade"

May 2016

Anthony Adcock VOLTA NY 2016

Anthony Adcock VOLTA NY 2016

Installation view of "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of Marks of the Trade by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of Marks of the Trade by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of Marks of the Trade by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of Marks of the Trade by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of Marks of the Trade by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of Marks of the Trade by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock

Installation view of Marks of the Trade by Anthony Adcock

Press Release

[New York] Lyons Wier Gallery pleased to present "Marks of the Trade" by Anthony Adcock.

The first time I saw Anthony Adcock's work it took a while for my head to process what my eyes were seeing. I was transfixed by the surface of what seemed to be a ‘paint-test’ on a piece of dirty plywood. Having painted walls myself many times, there was something about the surface that transcended the simple composition before me.

Adcock explains, "I have taken a minimalistic route with Trompe l’oeil painting that has led me to create frameless paintings that function similarly to the original objects the paintings mimic. The paintings resemble common flat surfaces, including dusty planks of wood, rusty sheets of steel, concrete slabs, and other commonly used building materials found on construction sites. The surfaces retain indexical information accumulated from hours or years of labor, use, and reuse. This information, created by individual workers, obstructs the surface. This obstruction causes the paintings to seem depthless, reducing the surface to an abstraction of marks. The neutral and depthless surfaces allow the paintings to live in both hyper-representational and minimal worlds. The illusionistic quality allows the paintings to be viewed as sculptures, which brings the viewer to consider the work as found objects or ready-mades. Instead of highlighting facture, the representational paintings question authorship and production, leaving the viewer to question the significance and function of the perceived objects.

The installation of the work is relatively site-specific, as it varies with the functionality of the paintings and the aesthetics of the space. For example, a painting of a wooden surface may be installed on a wall, set on the floor for viewers to walk on, or used in any other way that mimics the properties and uses of wood. The painting then becomes a usable material, instead of a mere reflection of that material. 

The paintings may require hundreds of hours of work only to be passed over by viewers, mistaking them for non-art objects. Similarly, high-rise buildings require years of work by hundreds of workers, with little credit given to individual workers. Working professionally as an artist and previously as a Local one Ironworker, I struggle to understand why authorship is acknowledged in one case and not the other." 

Anthony Adcock received his MFA from the University of Chicago and BFA degree with a specialization in oil painting from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. A skilled Local One ironworker, Adcock has exhibited his paintings and sculptures throughout Chicago, IL, in Charleston, SC and Tulsa, OK. He teaches painting and drawing at the American Academy of Art and Vitruvian School of Art in Chicago. The artist lives and works in Chicago, IL. This is Adcock’s first solo exhibition at Lyons Wier Gallery.