Iain Machell is committed to form and meaning. Sometimes these forms make words that play with concept and context. Sometimes they manifest themselves as blurred digital images seizing motion at the expense of clarity. And sometimes abstract form is explored in an intricate 16th century engraved style of ink laboriously crosshatched on paper. The most recent explorations comprise the exhibit "Platte Clove Lens" and are a result of a July residency in 2015 at Platte Clove, in the Catskill Mountains. Emerging from the tradition of landscape art that romanticizes nature, Machell instead focuses on the "dark, twisted, dangerous and angry power" nature has over humans, and the troubled relationship humans have with nature. The dark woods and blurred streams that infuse Machell's multiple studies hint of the mystery of deep, burrowing spaces and the sharp, fleeting nature of light. Iain Machell writes about "Platte Clove Lens” that it is "A visual reaction to the idyllic, romanticized landscape paintings of the Hudson River School. Platte Clove was a favourite location of these artists and I chose it deliberately to rattle their cages." By invoking the past, Machell propels the landscape concept forward into the 21st century. "Platte Clove Lens" opens October 31st and continues through November 22nd.
About Iain Machell: Originally from Scotland, Iain Machell studied at Grays School of Art and received his MFA from SUNY Albany. A well-respected visual artist and teacher, Mr. Machell was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and is currently a Professor of Studio Arts and holds the position of Chair of Art, Design, Fashion, Music, Theatre and Communication Department at SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge NY. Mr. Machell has been a visiting artist and lecturer at numerous colleges and universities including Bennington College, Parsons School of Art, University of Massachusetts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ball State University, SUNY at Albany, West Virginia University and Montserrat College of Art. Iain Machell was also the recipient of a NYSCA stipend and was a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Finalist (Sculpture). Iain Machell's drawings, book projects, paintings and sculptures have been shown in galleries and institutions throughout the United States and United Kingdom notably The Drawing Center, The Sculpure Center and the Center for Book Arts in New York City and a handmade book is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art/Franklin Furnace/Artist Book Collection.