McClain Gallery presents this online exclusive exhibition of Shane Tolbert's newest body of work, all acrylic on found supports with some additional found materials. Tolbert’s work on found supports show a growing consciousness of the ecological impact of his studio practice, but also a new interest the signs of embedded meaning and history in discarded building material and refuse. The rough cuts, sun bleaching, drilled holes, gear impressions on the face of honeycomb cardboard become an integral part of the paintings’ formal language, as well as suggesting other, more inaccessible past life of objects. The colors of the New Mexican high desert allude to Tolbert’s practice of walks and hikes, and his interest in geological time.
Tolbert currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His explorations are concerned with the process and materiality of painting, and the way images can be made by relying on chance, unorthodox materials, and gesture. Although his work builds on a premise of color field painting, the technique Tolbert employs is far from traditional. He begins by thinning down acrylic paint which pools and flows on plastic sheeting. Once dry, the stains imprinted on the sheeting are applied to canvas using more wet paint as a binder. After allowing the plastic to dry on the canvas, Tolbert then removes it and what is left behind is the intact painted gesture, imprinted with the textural language of ripples and folds inherent to the plastic.
Tolbert received his BFA in Painting from the University of Houston in 2008 and his MFA in Painting from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010. Tolbert’s work has been exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston and was included in the McClain Gallery group exhibition, Summertime Blues. His first solo show in New York City took place at David Richard Gallery in 2018, followed by a solo exhibition at McClain Gallery. Also in 2018 his work was included in the group show entitled UnderErasure at Pierogi Gallery, New York, NY. Tolbert participated in the Edward Albee Foundation Residency in Montauk, NY as well as public projects including an outdoor installation at the Blaffer Art Museum’s downtown Houston satellite space. His work has been reviewed in Art in America.