by Elena Martinique
Best known for paintings exploring the notions of memory, personal experience and self in the digital age, Ian Kimmerly aims to reveal the way technology has influenced the world to uncover how people communicate between each other. Ian Kimmerly art show at Dolby Chadwick Gallery titled As We Wander, We Are Closer will feature his new body of work consisted of generously layered paintings that combine figuration and abstraction in a rather provocative way. With the proliferation of smart phones and social media, the technology has made a huge impact on the way we communicate, but also on the nature of interpersonal relationships we create. In the world that gives you the ability to be constantly connected, the work of Ian Kimmerly explores the potential of embracing solitude for a while.
Even though the latest technology has heightened our ability to remain constantly connected, it has also shaped our interpersonal relationships to become largely fleeting and immaterial. This communication remains an exchange at the surface-level, existing in complete contradistinction to true forms of conversation based on an open and sustained dialogue. If we can just try to let ourselves wander and embrace the solitude, this can actually allow us to go deeper and recharge, equipping us with more to give in our future interactions. Combining figurative elements, such as faces rendered photorealistically, and abstract passages and textured daubs of paint, Kimmerly’s paintings loosely chart this type of open engagement with the world.
Being neither openly narrative nor readily digestible, the quality of Kimmerly’s paintings resembles the aesthetics of the German painter Gerhard Richter. Interested in the psychoanalytical concept of subject-object differentiation, the artist uses layered constructions that create metrics of form, gesture, texture and color that reveal manifold relationships. This encourages the viewer to take the time to work through the stages of processing in order to construct the meaning within these connections. Featuring an image of a couple with their faces pressed closely to each other at different scales and digital blips in the form of abstract gestures, the painting As We Wander, We Are Closer shows us the potential of digital technologies and prompts us to reconsider the way we want to live our lives. Similarly, the painting Twofold plays upon shifts in gaze, allowing us to view the world not only from a new angle but also through a different lens.
Ian Kimmerly has exhibited both internationally and nationally and has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. The show As We Wander, We Are Closer will be on view at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco from December 8th, 2016 until January 28th, 2017. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, December 8th, from 5:30 until 7:30pm.