In our main gallery we will be showcasingAdam Caldwell's new body of work. The new oil paintings for 'Dark Stage' are by far his strongest and most cohesive body of work to date. A game changer for this amazing talent out of the Bay Area. Please see below for details on a special talk with the artist and special performances from the theater troupe that inspired the new series.
"In this show I was looking for a way to imply and illustrate multiple levels of artifice and meaning. In fiction there are many examples of plays within plays, stories within stories, I wanted to explore that in painting. I decided that creating a performance that included aspects of my paintings and then documenting that as a means for further painting was a good start. I reached out to many theater companies and was lucky to meet Eric Kuypers, director of Bandelion Dance Troupe. They are a multi-disciplinary company that use acting, dance, theater, and music in an ongoing experimental collision of genres. They explore themes of disability, gender, sexuality, race, and the nature of performance.
I'd initially thought of developing a narrative structure for a performance, but we soon discovered that a free improvisation worked best. With a team of photographers, I documented several large scale improvised performances over the last two years and have been using the reference for a series of oil paintings. I think they look a bit like Caravaggio and David Lynch mashed up. The experience of working with a community and using a multi-disciplinary approach has been really rewarding and fruitful.
The show also includes many of my ongoing portrait series, created on a smaller scale. I've tried to explore the range of possible techniques and styles from photo realism to almost pure abstraction. They offer a way to experiment with things on a smaller scale, that I then bring into my larger works." - Adam Caldwell
Adam Caldwell studied art at Laney Community College, and then in 1994 received a scholarship to study at the California College of Art. After two years of study he took an illustration class with renowned artist and teacher Barron Storey, who inspired a passion for illustration and a more democratic view of art making than the elitist world of fine art. Caldwell then focused on a double major in fine art and illustration. While a student he began working as a Teachers Assistant and taught several substitute classes on his own. He received a BFA in illustration and fine art in 1998. In 2001 he began teaching at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
In addition to painting and teaching, Caldwell has competed in Martial Arts since childhood. He was the 2001 USAWKF National san-shou champion and has competed in amateur thai-boxing. He is an instructor at EBM kung-fu in Oakland CA. He is still pursuing his dream of being a guitar legend.