About John McNamara
John McNamara’s paintings pays homage to the history of American culture, questioning its values and tropes, and often incorporating appropriated photographic imagery of celebrities, artists, and landscapes. In works such as Grid (2010), he shows the forceful power of electrification and modernization, suggesting its relationship to the modernist grid as an aesthetic device. McNamara builds images with expressive brushwork and a delicate touch, frequently painting over photographs in order to address issues of representation and explore the relationship between painting and photography. “I have always loved the tiny mark,” he says, though the scale of his overall vision and ideas is much bigger. He liberally mixes naturalistic, symbolic, and abstract imagery, confounding simple classification.
American, b. 1950, Cambridge, Massachusetts, based in Berkeley, California