Adam Ross

November & December, 2002

Dealing with themes of science fiction, technology and the future, Adam Ross makes images that contain architecture often in the form of geometric shapes floating in front of an infinitely flat landscape. These elongated tubes, squat cubes, and abstract polygons suggest both physical and digital forms. Smokestacks, tubes, pipettes, barrels, walls, columns, and tunnels are all possible interpretations. They are disparate in their appearance but all fall under the category of modern, human-made, and technological objects. The meticulously detailed rendering and bright colors make the shapes appear purely digital as if conceived and rendered on a computer. This dual reading of the subject matter demonstrates Ross’ interest in a virtual realm and its relationship to our physical world. The paintings and works on paper are an investigation between utopian ideals and the reality of the future – an intersection between these two different but increasingly convergent spheres.

In a sense, Ross is a digital-realist influenced by the photo-realists’ obsessively rendered physical perfection but departing from their camp by changing subject matter. Instead of painting as close a version of physical reality as possible, Ross paradoxically portrays a non-existent reality. Ross’ unique ability is to visually translate the digital and all its promises of order, rationality, and utopia. The paintings’ evocations of architecture and materiality result in a cold, sterile feeling but one tempered by humanity’s complicity in its aspirations.

Adam Ross’ work has been shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MOCA, Los Angeles, The New Museum, New York and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. Ross’ pieces are featured in numerous collections and he exhibits in Europe on a frequent basis.

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