b. 1973, Urbana, IL
Lives and works in La Cienega, NM
Scott Anderson’s work has been described by writer David Pagel as “dystopian abstraction.” Using bright colored abstraction juxtaposed with figurative elements, the work takes on a surreal quality resplendent with apocalyptic connotations. His work is concerned with moments of cultural upheaval steeped in capitalism and bygone political revolutions.
The source material for my paintings and drawings are preexisting images. These images- -found photographs, my own snap shots, drawings, or collages–typically fall within broad art historical categories such as portraiture, landscape, iconography, and still life. The way in which these varied models inform my practice, whether found or of my own making, is through degrees of removal. In the case of found imagery, the fact that I am not the author denotes there is a void in my understanding of it. The passage of time creates a similar cognitive gap with my own preliminary drawings.
Although relatively abstract, I find that my image-informed process often puts my paintings in dialogue with art movements before the image was emptied out of the frame, particularly pre-war European Modernism. My interest in the continuation of this art historical conversation rests in an ability to change the rules of the game as it were. Where Modernists of all stripes were largely interested in winning the game by ending it (to paraphrase the critic, Jan Verwoert), I view this mode of objective / non- objective mobility as simply one way among many in which to view the world. It sits analogous to, and is thus simultaneously as vital as, “pure” abstraction and naturalistic representational painting, along with the multitude of other media and post-media approaches to artistic production.
The act of creating work from any source presents a condition of translation. One thing becomes another. In this sense, I become a translator, filtering the source materials in new ways to develop an idiosyncratic, visual vocabulary that signifies the ways in which I perceive, organize, scramble, and prioritize the original image information. Through that process, my paintings establish an alternate reality – one where they might exist as normal representations of their surroundings.
Scott Anderson received his BFA from Kansas State University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He most recently studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work is in the permanent collection of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. Anderson has participated in exhibitions at MCA Chicago, the Parrish Art Museum, The Warhol Museum and the Cranbrook Art Museum. He has exhibited in solo and group shows at Kavi Gupta in Chicago. His work has been featured in numerous publications including: The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Art Pulse, Beautiful Decay, and Daily Serving. Anderson has been the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and The William and Dorothy Yeck Award.