Adam Shaw

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Adam Shaw

 

“The most important thing any art can offer is a bridge to a deeper experience of oneself. The experience of art occurs outside of time—both its making and its effect— despite the necessary parenthesis of its historic moment. This is the framework from which my efforts proceed. Rembrandt, Turner, deKooning, Chinese landscapes... there are so many influences... but the real teachers are the materials and nature. My eyes do not distinguish between abstract and representational, for when observed closely, what is more abstract than upturned earth, the bark of a tree, the skin of a pomegranate, or the detail of a sleeve painted by Titian? I am never interested in what a painting is of, I am only interested in what a painting does when you are in its grips.

I consider myself a painter of the natural world. Even though what I paint may have never been seen—or even existed—before, it strives to be in accordance with all things which exist. The work is infused with the beauty and upheaval of the natural world and the tragedy and aspirations of the human condition. The tradition of applying pigmented substance to a surface for visual edification is one of the oldest currents running through the history of human life. Tradition is not something I deride, it is something to which I aspire. For me, painting is not something to do, it is rather a way to be. In my work I strive for a synthesis of what is timeless with something original, a vision of abstraction borne on the shoulders of the classical; a way of seeing where the borders between objective representation and pure painting disappear; a glorification of the materiality and transcendence of paint, in service of the highest part of oneself.”

Born in New York City, artist Adam Shaw began working with oils in the mid 1970s. Educated in the Renaissance tradition, Shaw received a BA in Classics and a minor in Russian and Italian. In 1979-1980 he lived in Florence and Urbino, Italy to pursue art history. In the early 1980s, Shaw moved to San Francisco and received an MA in Poetics. After pursuing liberal arts, Shaw eventually became a physician and maintained a private practice for 14 years. He has published a number of his own poems and has translated poetry from Latin, Russian, and Italian. He has taught workshops and lectured at numerous institutions, including Palmer College and the College of Marin. Shaw’s paintings are in many corporate and private collections throughout the United States and Europe.

 

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