Galleria Christian Stein announces, in the historical venue on Corso Monforte, a solo exhibition by the American artist Jeff Elrod (Dallas, Texas, 1966).
The exhibition features a selection of artworks made between 2015 and 2016, never shown until now. All of them are large abstract acrylic and spray paintings and inkjet prints realized by the artist as a result of his practice of transferring a digital drawing to canvas. Using programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator he draws and reworks imagery that he then renders on canvas often by hand. His computer generated images are also sometimes printed directly onto the canvases._Elrod has described this process as “analog” painting, creating handmade copies of digital originals. The artist’s interest towards technology does not lie in the universe of digital techniques. However he aims to explore the dichotomy of working on a computer screen, while also experiencing the immediacy of applying paint on canvas. The use of a variety of media gives to his paintings a complexity in which flatness and depth coexist, or become difficult to detect.
Elrod’s practice as a painter is rooted in the tradition of American twentieth-century abstract painting. He began painting abstractions inspired by super graphics and video game imagery in the early 1990s. In 1997, as a means to distance himself from his conscious mind, he began to use the computer to facilitate paintings through a technique he calls “frictionless drawing.” The software program allows for the production of lines and color fields without the direct intervention of the artist’s hand, thus allowing him the freedom to experiment and engage his subconscious mind, as “a digital breed of automatic writing.” After his first American personal exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2009, Elrod’s work was presented at the MoMA PS1 in 2013. In that occasion he introduced a series of paintings, inspired by “dream machine”, a device created by artist and poet Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville in 1959 that uses oscillating light frequencies to stimulate the optical nerves while the viewer’s eyes are closed. Elrod evokes the hallucinatory effects of Gysin’s machine by processing his original drawings into blurred images that create overall fields of colored soft cloud-like forms that resist focus.
Elrod’s work has appeared in Jeff Elrod: Nobody Sees Like Us at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York in 2013; FOCUS: Jeff Elrod at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2009; BitStreams at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2001; Glee: Painting Now at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, 2000, and The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Florida, 2001; and Abstract Painting, Once Removed at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, 1998. His paintings are in many prominent public and private collections including that of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection in Washington D.C. He is a recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany award as well as the Claire Hart De Goyer Award given by the Dallas Museum of Art.__
The artist currently lives and works in Marfa, Texas, and New York City.