Ways of Looking, an exhibition of new works by Robert McAn, will be on display November 30, 2017 through January 20, 2018, at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Thursday, November 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The show will include mixed media on canvas and sculptures of imaginary tableaux, all inspired by McAn’s recent travels and the unconventional, abstracted ways in which he realizes his surroundings.
McAn visits countries around the globe, and has always taken photographs to document his trips. Recently, however, he has dispensed with the usual photos of beautiful scenery to focus on capturing a more personal interaction with the objects and imagery around him. “I found that many of my experiences were influenced by a system of actions,” says McAn. “They were these passing glances of looking up, looking down, and looking through. To document this behavior, I began taking pictures. The images were rapid fire, blurred, and fragmented.”
The resulting pieces magnify this unexpected manner of processing one’s surroundings, and portray the artist’s experiences from an abstracted, movement-oriented, often ambiguous perspective. The compositions evoke the idea of chance, capturing multiple layers of visual and physical action in one frame—conscious movement coupled with subconscious understanding. They are micro-environments that examine one facet of a personal journey, while also defining a universal experience.
McAn’s two- and three-dimensional pieces reexamine and elevate encounters we usually consider unremarkable, such as looking down while walking, gazing upward to orient ourselves in a city, or looking through a window to connect with the outside. “When looking down I was often simply looking for obstacles in my way,” he says. “When I took a photograph of the same thing, I saw something beautiful.”
In Ways of Looking, McAn gives viewers new avenues to explore in the broad range of shapes, colors, and textures that occupy our space. He remarks, “From celestial skyscapes to dark and moody otherworldly landscapes and seascapes, the new works provide a lens through which to view the world. This is a world of split-second glances and fleeted moments captured. The artwork is simply one way of looking.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A Fort Worth native, Robert McAn has been exhibiting professionally for more than two decades. He has shown work in venues throughout Texas, including those in Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, Austin, Denton, Houston, and San Antonio, among others.
His work has appeared in local and regional publications, including Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram, the Dallas Morning News and Dallas Observer, the Houston Chronicle, American Way magazine, Art Lies, and New American Paintings. His pieces are featured in many private collections around the world, and in such public and corporate collections as the University of North Texas, Plano’s PageNet Corporation, and the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas.
Robert McAn received his Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Texas, where he studied under Vernon Fischer and Brent Phelps. He has taught as an adjunct art professor at both Austin College and the University of North Texas. Currently, McAn serves as head of membership and special events at the Kimbell Art Museum, where he has worked since 1994.