Lombard-Freid Projects is pleased to present Power Sources, Chris Finley’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. 2008: The United States of America finds itself in a year of momentous presidential campaigns, a challenging time marked by pointed political debates. Tapping on the current situation, Chris Finley’s recent works focus on the media saturated coverage of the impending election, inventing a portrait gallery of US political leaders for his premiere show at Lombard-Freid Projects.
Finley’s seemingly non-referential, highly elegant abstract paintings combine pop cultural imagery with art historical sources that nod to futurist and constructivist artists from Giacomo Balla to Naum Gabo. Each of his works begins with a figurative picture—typically downloaded from the Internet—of a popular icon (American politicians are the protagonists of this show) which is then submitted through a series of digital manipulations –distortions, stretching, rotations—until it becomes unrecognizable as a figural likeness, completely divorced from its source. Finley painstakingly reworks each individual line, masking, cutting and painting it onto the canvas.
His intense image processing technique calls into question the reliability of images culled from the media to communicate stable meanings. A subtle commentator of an ever-expanding 21st century world of information, the artist notes: “It is my desire to create alternative visual outcomes whose formal elements are derived from pervasive media-based narratives.”
The paintings in Power Sources draw their titles either from their subjects such as politicians Hillary, Rove, Schummer, and Obama, or from the headline news captions The Hearing (referring to the attorney general Alberto Gonzales) or The Resigned (referring to a group of political figures who resigned from their positions such as Ashcroft, Bolton, Powell, Rumsfeld and Tenant).
Chris Finley was born in Carmel, California in 1971 and received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. His work has been exhibited in numerous international museums including: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Henry Museum Art Gallery; Orange County Museum; and the Van Abbemuseum. Finley’s most recent solo exhibition, The Friggin’ Curve, took place at ACME Gallery in Los Angeles, in 2006