Other ARRET (or STOP) sign paintings play on, and with the shape, remove words, or even leave the red octagon without any signs at all… It all makes you think about what abstract art, Montreal’s les Plasticiens movement, for instance, was all about, but Maclean sees it from an altogether different, very public and very accessible angle, even touching on design in industry… Recently, Maclean presented these and other works in homage to both Pierre Ayot and Guido Molinari in the recent exhibition (Ayot/Moli (en passant par Maclean). Here the signs themselves became platforms for geometric abstraction.
To create art that “looks like art” can be tedious. Maclean’s art challenges the very paradigm of what art may or may not be. As elements in a landscape or cityscape, signs reflect a certain mind-oriented displacement. Stop signs are so much a part of our culture we take them for granted. They seem unchangeable, irrevocable…
Moving from the altered sign as a representation to an actual physical object, Maclean’s art at first drew on the formal nature of signs, but more recently – stemming from the Octagonal Triangulation series – his current studio work now underway challenges his own popular vernacular by building structube-like neo-organic formulations that recall chemistry models, and invoke poetic extrapolations on life itself, all this on the same familiar backdrop of the STOP sign… These paintings almost harken back to the early Cubist era, when modernism reigned supreme… This artist has a memory!
“Stop-Art” and Signs of the Times p.2
STOP (effacé) rouge, 2015
acrylic on reflective vinyl on aluminum
24" x 24"