Maclean’s road sign imagery – in particular his A R T stop signs (2000-2001) –moves back and forth from the obviously iconic to more recombinant metaphors, and navigate or recombine themes in the combat zone of contemporary art. As Maclean says, “I am as inspired by mundane everyday urban fabric and other material detritus as I am by historical works of masters and dabblers in art history.”
The vernacular of signology is a vernacular part of the culture of the street, of public space, of the everyday – akin to the spoken word in writing – that makes art accessible, not hidden from all of us. From the signology of place, Maclean has explored the human cultural paradigm, the displacement of the human psyche, with a sense of the social role art can play. Beyond the purist aesthetic, his artistic practise brings to aesthetics a social humanism. An interweaving of the natural and the synthetic leads to a more meaningful and personal expression. The act of art goes beyond the urban theatre to address deeper, more universal states of being. Why states of being? Maclean never leaves the moment of the action, of the inter-action between self and society.
Writer, critic, poet and curator, John K. Grande’s writing has appeared in Artforum, Vice Versa, Sculpture, Art Papers, British Journal of Photography, Espace Sculpture, Public Art Review, Art On Paper, Arte Es, Circa & Canadian Forum. His books include Balance: Art and Nature (Black Rose Books, 1996), Intertwining: Landscape, Technology, Issues, Artists (Black Rose, 1998), Jouer avec le feu: Armand Vaillancourt (Lanctot, 2001), Dialogos Arte Naturaleza (Fundacion Manrique, Lanzarote, Espana, 2007), Dialogues in Diversity: Marginal to Mainstream (Pari Publishing, 2007), Nils-Udo; sur l'eau (Actes Sud, 2015) and In)Formation Alice Teichert (Hirmer Verlag, Germany, 2017). He recently curated Earth Art for the PanAm Games at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario (2014) and Small Gestures at Mucsarnok/Kunsthalle in Budapest (2016). www.johnkgrande.com
Exhibition view, 2015 (two works)
Galeries Christian Lambert
et Roger Bellemare