>   William Singer, From the Depths Above
William Singer, M.F.A., painting, 2013, "Act Three," oil on paper, 52" x 39", 2016. Photo courtesy of Sal Rodriguez.

William Singer

From the Depths Above
Jan. 31 - April 30, 2017

The SCAD Museum of Art presents "From the Depths Above," an exhibition of new work by SCAD alumnus William Singer (M.F.A., painting, 2013). Paintings on paper, drawings and one grand-scale painting make up this exhibition which examines the authority of traditional painting motifs through the artist’s playful interpretation of landscape and portraiture.

The portraits presented in "From the Depths Above" employ expressive marks, a rich palette and various signs and symbols to depict farcical, invented characters. The closely cropped portraits are recognizable as faces, but are twisted and distorted to capture the subjects’ concurrent presence and absence. Inspired by Rembrandt drawings, the artist manipulates the concept of the historically authoritative formal portrait to create an absurd cast of buffoons.

The exhibition’s single large-scale painting on canvas was inspired by historical paintings such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s "Tower of Babel," as well as the artist’s own personal experiences in residency in Boulder, Colorado. The work, an homage to grand narrative painting, subverts traditional interpretations. It was created with an array of paint applications, from washes to scrapes, and represents a departure from the classical to highlight the physicality of the medium.

The drawings in the exhibition are enlarged replications of Singer’s own marks from small parts of his paintings. Through this process, Singer creates new, purely abstract forms from representational pieces.

A Detroit, Michigan-based painter, Singer’s work was the subject of a 2016 solo exhibition at Boulder Creative Collection in Boulder, Colorado, where he also conducted a residency. His work has been included in group exhibitions in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, California and New York.

The exhibition is curated by Ben Tollefson, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions.

Reception: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, 6–7 p.m.

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

This exhibition is part of deFINE ART 2017, held Feb. 21-24 at SCAD locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, and Hong Kong. DeFINE ART is an annual program of exhibitions, lectures, performances and public events that highlights emerging and established artists and visionaries.