In his painted interiors and landscapes, Los Angeles-based artist Alec Egan renders otherwise ordinary scenes through contrasting patterns, colours, and textures.Read More
Alec Egan graduated with a BA from Kenyon College, Ohio in 2007, and an MFA from the Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles in 2013.
The repetition of patterns that characterise Alec Egan's paintings evoke a sense of nostalgia, and are autobiographical in the sense that they derive from the artist's memories and surroundings. Often floral, the patterns multiply within the canvas. In Dinette (2019), for example, muted purple and orange flowers populate the wallpaper, before which are vibrantly coloured flowers that have been arranged in a flower-patterned vase.
Egan's paintings can also be less cluttered, with a focus on colour. Palms and building (2020) is a minimal rendition in comparison to the artist's heavily patterned works, showing only a thin portion of a building on one side and a lone tree on the other. Behind the two components is the sky, rendered in a soft gradation of pastel pink and blue.
Alec Egan began to depict fictive interiors around 2017. Entrance and Vaulted Room, two works produced in that year, both depict ordinary rooms without the cacophony of patterns that are dominant in later paintings.
Egan's introduction of patterns and colours is evident in Changing Room (2020), in which richly coloured flowers decorate a wall, sofa, ottoman, floor, and a changing screen. Egan is, however, able to establish a sense of balance through his mastery of saturation and his use of other, plainer objects—including a bag of fruit, an open book, and a pair of boots—that provide some respite from the intense patterns.
Changing Room was the centrepiece of August, Egan's 2020 solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles. Other paintings in the exhibition contain elements from this painting, such as the boots that reappear in Chair with Boots, and an image of mountains that features as a standalone work entitled Before the Sea, generating a narrative flow across the show (all works 2020).
Alec Egan also varies the textures in his paintings to disrupt the smooth surface of the canvas. The spines of books are visibly rough in Bookshelf, especially when compared to the black recess of the shelf behind them. Similarly, the sand-coloured Staircase is rendered with thick slabs of horizontal impasto that mimic the texture of actual stone or concrete (both 2017).
In Chair with Boots, the red strings of the boots were made by squeezing the paint directly out of the tube onto the canvas, creating a three-dimensional effect against the flat prints and textured flooring of the work.
Alec Egan's solo exhibitions include Miro's Corner, MAKI, Tokyo (2021); August, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles (2020); Pets, Charles Moffet, New York (2019); Expo Chicago (2017); Welcome Home, California Heritage Museum, Los Angeles (2017); Sanctuary House, Ampersand Gallery, Portland (2016); You Should've Asked Your Dad About That, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles (2013).
Selected group exhibitions include Staycation, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles (2020); Untitled, Freight and Volume, New York (2015); MAS Attack, Torrance Art Museum, California (2013); Five, California Heritage Museum, Los Angeles (2013); and Salt Shaker, Horn, Ohio (2007).
Alec Egan's Instagram account can be found here.
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021