g. russell case -shapes and shadows-

may 2018

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Simplifying the grandeur of natural elements is no easy task, but G. Russell Case does it with a studied ease, belying the complexity behind the design process. Imposing and vast, Case’s Los Angeles debut show at Maxwell Alexander Gallery represents the further maturation his work has taken.
Case is very familiar with human-scale in reference to the magnitude of nature. Having grown up on and around Native-American reservations, he was exposed to settings that evoked both awe and a deep respect for the ruggedness of nature. “I’m drawn to these big, open places. And they really are quite big.” Case says. “The land just seems to go on forever.”
While it would be easy to get lost in the scenes, Case makes the work accessible by distilling it down to only what the viewer needs to see. His incorporation of figures in some pieces further demonstrates both scale and an invitation to the viewer to identify with the space. “Russell captures these places in such a classic way,” says gallery director Beau Alexander. “He creates calming landscapes where you can feel the quiet of the desert in them, but he also conveys the vastness of the space and the height of the cliffs, often putting small figures in his paintings for scale.”
As for his process, Case notes that the ideas and design often take several iterations. “When you’re out there, you’re so flooded with information that it’s hard to edit things—you think it’s all beautiful,” Case says. “In my studio, I’ll create a small painting and then work it up to a big painting, editing things down. The abstract quality behind subject matter is what gets me excited—the big shapes and patterns. I’m continuing to move in a simplified direction—it’s a constant evolving toward how to say more with less, but better.”
The beauty in that simplicity is what Case does best. Designing landscapes to communicate with the viewer, while still maintaining the ruggedness of nature is an art form Case has mastered. This new solo showcase will be on display in our new Downtown LA gallery starting May 5, 2018. 

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