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Shaheen Gallery: Modern and Contemporary Art (Exhibitions)
Faris McReynolds: Sight Unseen
January 20, 2007 - March 16, 2007

Artist Biography
Faris McReynolds


Faris McReynolds


Born 1977

Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA





2000   Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA; BFA





2013   Faris McReynolds, SHAHEEN modern and contemporary art, Cleveland, OH

2011   Oil Studies: 2006-2010, SHAHEEN modern and contemporary art, Cleveland, OH

2010   Toxic Mimics, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

           ©California/West Coast USA: Faris Mc Reynolds, Cultuurcentrum Kortrijk, Kortrijk, Belgium

2009   The Primitive Electric, Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

2008   Gallery MinMin, Tokyo, Japan

           Ironic Heriocs, Goff + Rosenthal, New York, NY

2007   Sight Unseen, SHAHEEN modern and contemporary art, Cleveland, OH

           The Beautiful Mob, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

           Gallery Min Min, Tokyo, Japan

           Plastic Palace, Goff + Rosenthal, Berlin, Germany

2006   Oh, Dead Air, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA Gallery Min Min, Tokyo, Japan

2005   Gallery Min Min, Tokyo, Japan

2004   Itʼs a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA

           Gallery Min Min, Tokyo, Japan

2003   There is no There There, Perugi Arte Contemporea, Padova, Italy

           Modern Blues, Marvelli Gallery, New York, NY

2002   Whispering Bad News, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA

2001   The Promise of Maybe, Practice Space, Los Angeles, CA





2013   Interiors: Faris McReynolds & Claudia Parducci, Nye + Brown, Los Angeles, CA

2009   Summer Exhibition, Goff + Rosenthal, New York, NY

2008   Drawings and Other Works On Paper, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

           Macrocosm, Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

           Bedroom Paintings, curated by Adam Lerner, The Lab at Belmar, Lakewood, CO

           Gallery Min Min, Tokyo, Japan

2007   Some Kind of Portrait, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA

2006   Do Not Stack, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA

           Inaugural Exhibition, Goff + Rosenthal, Berlin, Germany

           Sea Change, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA

           Dig for Fire, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

2005   Untitled, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA

           Syzygy, SHAHEEN modern and contemporary, Cleveland, OH

           The Earth as Seen from the Moon, Galleria Cesare Manzo Pescara, Italy, curated by Marco Atlavilla

           Pacific Lives, curated by Dean Anes, Richard Yancey Gallery, New York, NY

           LA Times, curated by Dean Anes, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA

2004   Eye of the Needle, Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA

2002   London is Balling, Bartwells Institute, London, England

           Necessary Fictions, DeChiara Gallery, New York, NY

2001   That Championship Season, Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, CA

           Sometimes it's Dark, Practice Space, Los Angeles, CA

           Snow, Practice Space, Los Angeles, CA

           3, 1335 Willow, Los Angeles, CA

           Phoenicia, Shaolin Temple, Los Angeles, CA

           I Like to Watch, Practice Space, Los Angeles, CA

2000   Rose & Croix, Apt C, Burbank, CA

           Random, Miller Durazo, Los Angeles, CA

1999   The Touch, Action Space, Los Angeles, CA





Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA





2009   Dambrot, Shana Nys. Rock n Roll Issue, THE Magazine

2008   Chandler, Mary Voelz. "Art of creative coupling: Lab at Belmar pairs film, painting in perception test."

           Rocky Mountain News July 3, 2008: Art &   Architecture

           Scantlen, Seth. Face Forward: Portraiture in Contemporary Art. New York: VisualFieldPress, 2008

2007   Dambrot, Shana Nys. Entertain Us! A Selection of Paintings by Faris    McReynolds. Los Angeles:   

           Roberts & Tilton, 2007

           Poels, Anne-Marie. "Faris McReynolds 'The Beautiful Mob'." <H>Art March 29, 2007: 28

           Farber, Jim. "It Figures." Rave! March 2, 2007: R19-R20

           Utter, Douglas Max. "Lost and Found In Space." The Cleveland Free Times,   Vol. 14, Issue 44,    

           February 21, 2007

           Wyszpolski, Bondo. "Here, There, Everywhere." Easy Reader January 25, 2007: 37

2006   Wood, Eve. "Faris McReynolds." art US July-September 2006: 6

           Zellen, Jody. "Faris McReynolds: Los Angeles." Art Papers July/August 2006: 62-63

           Worman, Alex. "Faris McReynolds: Roberts & Tilton." Flash Art Volume XXXIX, Number 248,     

           Mary-June 2006: 24-26

           Campagnola, Sonia. "Focus Los Angeles: A Survey of Contemporary Los Angeles Art." Flash Art,

           January-February 2006: 72

2005   Kim, Souri. Details May 2005 Japan Times, March 2005

2004   Dambrot, Shana Nys. Tema Celeste September 2004

2002   Wood, Eve. Tema Celeste September-Octoer 2002: 68-69

           Wood, Eve. Artweek Volume 33, Issue 6 July-August 2002

           New American Paintings, Juried Exhibition-in-Print Number 43: 124-25



Press Releases
Faris McReynolds: Sight Unseen


Sight Unseen

January 20th - March 16th, 2006


SHAHEEN Modern and Contemporary Art is delighted to announce an exhibition of recent works on paper by 29 year-old Los Angeles based painter Faris McReynolds.  Entitled Sight Unseen, this will be McReynolds' first one person gallery exhibition in the Midwest. 


The fourteen works on paper that will comprise Faris McReynolds' upcoming exhibition at SHAHEEN are based on images that the artist has culled from 1970's film and television.  Through extricating these carefully chosen source images from their original storylines; manipulating them through the same mechanisms and sensibility of filmmaking; and transforming them into painting through a combination of acrylic paint, watercolor, gouache and ink, McReynolds re-casts them, and employs them in telling a larger story about contemporary life and culture.  The artist's attraction to film as a source of readymade imagery, and his specific working process have evolved from an increasing belief or realization that fiction often communicates a universal range of human experience and emotion with greater efficacy than the documentation of reality itself.  McReynolds' works on paper both counterbalance and blur the lines between staged and intuitive; original and reproduced; familiar and unexpected; digital and analog; truth and fiction; and memory and imagination.  The artist leaves the scenes and figures depicted in these works suspended in a strange state of potential / impending action or reaction. 


Over the past two years Faris McReynolds' paintings and works on paper have appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Japan.  In addition to his exhibition at SHAHEEN, the artist will have his first significant solo gallery exhibitions in New York (at Goff + Rosenthal) and Europe (at Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp) this year.




Lost and Found in Space / Free Times

Lost and Found In Space
Faris Mcreynolds Dusts Off the '70s At Shaheen Modern and Contemporary


Volume 14, Issue 44
Published February 21st, 2007

By Douglas Max Utter


Sight Unseen/Faris Mcreynolds
Sat, Jan 20th Through Fri, Mar 16th
Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art


TV programming has been leaking into outer space from Planet America for decades. Images from classic episodes of Kojak, Hawaii Five-0 and The Love Boat have had time to travel 30 light years and more, informing any intelligent life forms that may be out there of humanity's aspirations and achievements. Even the late Anna Nicole's 2002 reality show has just about made it to Proxima Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor, by now.


If you find this thought almost too discouraging to bear, imagine Faris McReynold's watercolor studies instead. They're based on archival stills from 1970s programs like The Mod Squad, and it's tempting to think of these blurred, blotchy scenes as the survivors of a journey toward the galactic core. At any rate, they look like they've been through a lot, and the process has definitely improved their intellectual provenance.


There's an endearing impressionist or post-impressionist quality about McReynold's small-scale works at Shaheen, almost as if Eduard Vuillard had dashed them off while watching reruns. But of course, the only reruns in Vuillard's day were the repeating visual patterns of the early 20th century Parisian scene. McReynold's subject matter (where it can be clearly discerned) is another matter entirely, taking us back to a kind of future-perfect tense of painting. His procedural loop revisits comic and dramatic events in a world that never actually existed. Somehow he triumphs over this inbred process, delivering truly engrossing scenarios based on the carefully choreographed tableaux of action dramas.


Some of these are funny, like "The Help," where McReynolds reproduces an anonymous slapstick duel in an old-style Chinese laundry between an ironwielding man clad in a black robe and skull cap, and a karate guy in a Santa suit. Sheets are stacked neatly on shelves in the background, and another figure watches the action impassively, as the scene snaps in and out of focus in a masterly myopic haze of acrylic and gouache. Or there's "Red Boat," which shows a car awash up to its hubcaps in a shallow, rapidly flowing river. A highway bridge can be seen along the top of the frame; at once we recognize this little disaster as the culminating shot in a chase sequence, just as "The Help" cues memories of Peter Sellers and the comedy of his era. The car appears to be empty — nothing obstructs our view of the blue waters through its windows. Why is the scene so evocative of pathos and futility in general? It seems like a brilliant choice, somehow, but really, why isn't it just stupid? McReynolds elicits a wide range of responses, from annoyance to engagement, partly through his acute selection of images, and more generally, by pushing our buttons (in one way or another, TV is all about us, and it's hard not to be ambivalent about it), but also because he allows himself a considerable range of stylistic reference. "Red Boat," for instance, resembles folk art more than anything, though it's hard to seriously pin any style on McReynolds — nothing sticks.


Some observers consider the Dallas-born, Los Angeles-based artist who turns 30 this year to be one of the hottest younger artists on the LA scene. He's had solo shows in hip galleries in Tokyo and Berlin as well as LA and New York, often displaying large-scale paintings very different in technique and tone from those on view at Shaheen. If there's any consistent theme in his work over the past few years it might be his interest in the psychology of space, particularly interior space. One large 2002 acrylic and pencil work titled "The Argument," shown at Marvelli Gallery in New York, for example, depicts an ultra-simple modernist interior. The room is bare of furniture except for a futon, but paintings slant down a long wall on the left. Everything is indicated in the lightest of lines and washes, but a jerky, fractal-ish red shape seems to be emerging from one of the paintings, moving threateningly toward the empty futon. Or from the same period, his eight-foot-tall "Untitled (Room)" is quite a bit like a sanitized, screen-print-looking Vuillard, all wallpaper stripes and coverlet patterns. McReynolds paints a bed and a chest of drawers, and two windows on the upper right, admitting two shafts of pale sunlight. It could be titled "Stripes and Souls" (except that would be too corny for this artist), as it seems to imagine the translation of ordinary things, speaking of eternity when we least expect it. His watercolor studies also sketch spiritual aspects of three-dimensional space, but as meditations on the 3D illusions specific to the TV screen. There's a fishbowl quality to McReynolds' works at Shaheen that addresses the captive, untouchable nature of his source material.

The title of the exhibit is Sight Unseen, meaning presumably that nobody ever really witnessed any of the scenes he paints. One of the things McReynolds attempts here is an exploration of the nature of memory. His watercolors seem like memories of a certain kind — indistinct, yet concerned with specific events. But we know that they're not, that they're based on a stockpile of pics gleaned from way too much TV. They're not about the artist's memories at all, at least not directly — but they are about our own. They call to mind whole genres of comedy and drama, bygone eras of half-assed cultural expression and repression that are no doubt part of who we are, integral to our mass mentality. Of particular interest and value here, it seems to me, is the dignity that the artist's process gives to them. In his hands these random scenes have a resonance and a quality of mystery that suggest nothing less than redemption. Perhaps that's too grand or too loaded a word, but at a minimum, these watercolors take cheesy passages from shopworn sources and make something beautiful. That's a real achievement.


There's an Internet outfit that will beam your blog into outer space for a price. I'm thinking that might be a good idea, if space-time can be counted on to warp and alter experience until it more nearly resembles something lovely. Or maybe, like McReynolds, we just need to travel far enough, and slow enough, into the space we already have.


» PDF version

Faris McReynolds
Anna's Loft, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/4 x 19 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Social, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Reaction, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/2 x 19 1/4 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Prop, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Lair, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Help, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Guest, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Diner, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/2 x 19 1/4 inches

Faris McReynolds
The Blue Studio, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/4 x 20 1/4 inches

Faris McReynolds
Sight Unseen, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
17 3/4 x 14 1/4 inches

Faris McReynolds
Red Boat, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/8 x 19 inches

Faris McReynolds
Nineteen Seventy, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/4 x 19 1/2 inches

Faris McReynolds
Factory Safety, 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/4 x 19 1/2 inches

Faris McReynolds
Untitled (Mess), 2006
Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper
14 1/4 x 19 inches