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TOM MCKINLEY I PAINTINGS

JUNE 5–AUGUST 29, 2020

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TOM MCKINLEY | PAINTINGS

McClain Gallery is pleased to present an online exhibition of recent oil paintings by San Francisco Bay Area artist Tom McKinley (b. 1955, Bay City, Michigan; lives and works in Emeryville, California). This is the first exhibition of the artist’s work with McClain Gallery.

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McKinley is known for panoramic depictions of polished modern interiors, often viewed from a correspondingly manicured outdoor space, just beyond the reach of otherwise open and inviting glass doorways. One of McKinley's earliest and most immediate influences is architecture: contemporary homes form the armature for his paintings. Beyond the modern framework, amenities often feature lap pools, sleek hardscaping, the well-placed tree or two, and scenic overlooks of cityscapes and rolling hills to sweeping views of the sea

McKinley has said, "Houses are ultimately the main character in a landscape," and this character study unfolds in various ways through each of his paintings.

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McKinley often stands alongside the role of a director, capturing these fictional scenes at dusk or high-noon when the lighting is most dramatic. The meticulously rendered spaces avoid any references to identifiable locations, but they feel oddly familiar - a movie set or a magazine snapshot come to mind. This ambiguity plunges the work into a realm beyond the hyper-reality associated with photorealism and imparts a surreal and poetic depth to the compositions. McKinley has said, "Houses are ultimately the main character in a landscape," and this character study unfolds in various ways through each of his paintings. These domestic mise en scènes are peculiarly devoid of people and eerily silent, almost hermetically so. Recognizable design objects and artworks suggest surrogates for its inhabitants: Spring Supper depicts a backyard with an empty candle-lit table awaiting diners, and in another painting, two chairs sit facing opposite directions, highlighting the absence of the house's human occupants.

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The idealism accompanying midcentury suburban expansion and its packaged domesticity is on display here. As if lifted from a photoshoot, these voyeuristic scenes mirror our culture's fetishization of objects and the production of highly designed, intimate domestic spaces. One painting featured in the exhibition, Bruno Maximus, is an outlier in its striking depiction of a lone horse standing near the pool in the foreground. This distinct blend of romanticism mixed with disquietude feels full of potential, yet strangely empty. Like Ed Ruscha's gas stations or a De Chirico street scene, McKinley's domestic stand-ins feel like monuments to memory, rather than to the thing itself.

Tom McKinley was born in Bay City, Michigan, and educated in both the United States and Europe. Beginning at the Goddard College in Vermont, he continued his education overseas in England at the Falmouth School of Art in Falmouth, the Ravensbourne College of Art in London, and Brighton Polytechnic in Brighton. McKinley currently lives and works in the San Francisco area.

Slide-Show

Slide-Show Thumbnails
Tom McKinley  Spring Supper, 2019  oil on panel  49 x 96 inches $55,000

Tom McKinley

Spring Supper, 2019

oil on panel

49 x 96 inches

$55,000

Inquire
Tom McKinley  Memory, 2019  oil on panel  44 x 72 inches  $48,000

Tom McKinley

Memory, 2019

oil on panel

44 x 72 inches

RESERVED

Inquire
Tom McKinley  14th Floor Life, 2019  oil on panel  29 x 49 inches 35,000

Tom McKinley

14th Floor Life, 2019

oil on panel

29 x 49 inches

$35,000

Inquire
Tom McKinley  Kidd House, 2019  oil on panel  45 x 72 inches

Tom McKinley

Kidd House, 2019

oil on panel

45 x 75 inches

Reserved

Inquire
Tom McKinley  Bruno Maximus, 2019  oil on panel  44 x 74 inches

Tom McKinley

Bruno Maximus, 2019

oil on panel

46 x 73 inches

$48,000

Inquire
Tom McKinley  Box Seat, 2019  oil on panel  44 x 74 inches  $48,000

Tom McKinley

Box Seat, 2019

oil on panel

44 x 74 inches

$48,000

 

Inquire
Tom McKinley  Spring Supper, 2019  oil on panel  49 x 96 inches $55,000

Tom McKinley

Spring Supper, 2019

oil on panel

49 x 96 inches

$55,000

Tom McKinley  Memory, 2019  oil on panel  44 x 72 inches  $48,000

Tom McKinley

Memory, 2019

oil on panel

44 x 72 inches

RESERVED

Tom McKinley  14th Floor Life, 2019  oil on panel  29 x 49 inches 35,000

Tom McKinley

14th Floor Life, 2019

oil on panel

29 x 49 inches

$35,000

Tom McKinley  Kidd House, 2019  oil on panel  45 x 72 inches

Tom McKinley

Kidd House, 2019

oil on panel

45 x 75 inches

Reserved

Tom McKinley  Bruno Maximus, 2019  oil on panel  44 x 74 inches

Tom McKinley

Bruno Maximus, 2019

oil on panel

46 x 73 inches

$48,000

Tom McKinley  Box Seat, 2019  oil on panel  44 x 74 inches  $48,000

Tom McKinley

Box Seat, 2019

oil on panel

44 x 74 inches

$48,000

 

Video-Show

Q & A with Tom McKinley