BRUCE RILEY: PURE PUNCTUM
ON VIEW MAY 25, 2016 – JUNE 25, 2016
Bruce Riley is known for his remarkably detailed and virtually three-dimensional artwork with paint and resin on panel. Abstract in nature, the subjects of his paintings are never calculated or derived from life, but a product of his intuition and passion to create. The vivid colors and compositions appear to mimic chemical reactions, as they are created in multiple layers. Often described as scientific and psychedelic, the biomorphic forms represent a glimpse of cellular life. The exhibition will be composed of a variety of recent works, including an exclusive series of small scale paintings.
“In Roland Barthe’s book Camera Lucida he talks of two things going on: the studium and the punctum. The studium is the commonality of our collective experience. It is what we recognize and know that the photographer uses to illustrate her intentions. The punctum is the interaction of a personal history set in motion by the elements in a picture. It is not always clear to the observer that the punctum is in play.
I usually have a lot of paintings in progress. A show helps tighten up the focus. The direction a painting is going to take is never clear to me. Ideas I might have used to start a painting disappear pretty quickly.
The paint layers in my work are separated by clear layers of resin. It’s in the paint layers that I experiment and take chances, applying what I know to get things going, then looking for the unintentional mutations. The layers become like memories that get pushed down by new experiences that interact with what went before. I wanted the paintings in this show to maintain a sense of translucency that would expose the architecture of the piece. One could say that each work is a conscious act of aging.”
Biography –Bruce Riley’s art education began at The Art Academy of Cincinnati. During his time in school, a great source of inspiration came from the Princeton University Press’ Bollingen Press Series. This included published works by progressive thinkers and philosophers such as Eric Neumann, Carl Jung and David Bohm. In 1993, Bruce and his wife left Cincinnati for Chicago, where he currently lives and works. His work has been featured in a variety of solo and group exhibitions throughout the nation, including a recent international exhibition in the Netherlands in 2015.