The works of Liam Everett encapsulate controlled acts of natural degradation, each one a diorama of gorgeous decay. His canvases—scumbled, abraded skeins of flickering light and texture—are evidence of a full-bodied, active process of “destabilization.” Beginning with even layers of paint, the artist scrapes away and utilizes the transformative and corrosive powers of natural materials like salt and alcohol to determine the outcome of his creations. The resulting, mottled surfaces reflect the passage of time and recall the patina of the elements. While he’s garnered a following through these mixed-media paintings, having been spotlighted recently in showings at Altman Siegel and On Stellar Rays—the young San Francisco-based talent has proven that his ingenuity extends to printmaking, through six new etchings created at Paulson Bott Press.
In his print work, Everett again allows the medium to speak freely, with methodology taking center stage. Trading linen canvas for copper plate, he masterfully effaces the purity of the unmarked surface, taking advantage of the invasive quality of etching. “He pressed plates into rolled asphaltum, fabric into soft ground, and scraped, burnished, and sanded the resulting marks to create rich, atmospheric compositions,” the press explains. The subtlety of Everett’s imagery is echoed by an Old World palette of earth-bound pigments—deep mineral burgundy, grey, and ultramarine work opposite rich fields of luminous ochre and gold. Captivating, understated compositions, the new etchings perfectly embody the energy and dynamism of his large-scale paintings, while serving as tributes to the art-making process.