“Stop-Art” and Signs of the Times p.3
It all goes beyond the purist aesthetic, bringing together a social humanism with the hard culture of law, value, orthodoxy… Conceptual art, Maclean suggests, exists with or without the material art. The channelling of human energy is often moving towards the mind, and away for the heart.
For his Navigations show at the McClure Gallery in Westmount (2016) Maclean synthesized the signology, the artifice of the road and the highway with something so ancient – the symbol of the tree. There is a fusing of image and reality in these works – so textural and exploratory. The veins of life come together. Circulations of cars, roadways and that within the tree are one and the same… One is reminded of the city and highway loops, intersections, raised curvilinear causeways, and other places of circulation patterns and perpetual motion – like the veins in a body. The tree’s circulation is affected by the seasons, climate and life in general, the highway’s, by the speed of modern life… Hidden within a tree, pathways bring water, minerals, and nutrition from under the earth to the tree’s crown and limbs. The tree grows through circulation, and with the sun’s light. Highways feed the structures of the life we have designed, driven by technology.
Coloristic lines, mere patches in the tree forms are like the lifeblood of post-industrial North America - fluid life systems. These elements fuse remarkably in Maclean’s paintings. Just as motion, like emotion, add to a totality, the symbols, for Maclean become matrices that contextualize the images: ways of being in the 21st century. All things transposed in Maclean’s paintings describe the nature of systems, mechanistic, digital and biological.
Way After Mondrian, 2015 (detail)
Oil on canvas
50" x 70"