Which Way is West? January 31 – March 18
RCM Galerie is pleased to present ADAM BELT: WHICH WAY IS WEST, a solo exhibition of painting, drawing, installation and sculpture. Open from 31 January to 18 March 2019, this is the first solo show by the gallery for the California-based artist, whose work is inspired by natural forces coursing through the universe. The artist will be present for the opening on 31 January from 6 to 8 pm.
Belt describes his practice as a quasi-religious vocation grounded in contemplation of physical and phenomenological aspects of our world and the cosmos. It emanates from the artist’s need to connect with the silence of eternity and the landscapes that were etched into his subconscious from growing up in New Mexico.
“While rooted in landscape, my work grows from a lingering remembrance rather than direct experience of any specific place,” he explains.
This idea is illustrated in Belt’s Nowhere Paintings, both physical in the gray matte textured surface and ethereal in the shifting reflective nature. The patterns created are reminiscent of rivers cutting though the landscape as seen high above in a moving aircraft. By incorporating reflective mircobeads in the work, Belt creates a shimmering surface that changes depending on the angle of light hitting it.
Topography viewed from above also informs the series of Ebb and Flow drawings, which trace portions of the Grand Canyon as seen from satellite images from space while eliminating any of the visual cues that would allow the drawings to be placed in a static their environment.
A baptismal font made of “growing” rock crystals underlines the shifting nature of our environment. Meanwhile, Rock of Ages, a singular stone created of dozens of layers of rock from different geological periods from as old as 4 billion years ago, adds another element of time.
Rounding out the show is Cameo, a 20-minute looping video installation of the shadow of the earth rising the in the east opposite the sunset. On clear days in the dry desert of the southwest USA the shadow of the earth is clearly visible opposite the sunset. Cameo refers to both the tradition of silhouette portraits and brief character appearances in plays, movies and television.
Adam Belt received his BFA from the University of San Diego and completed his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2001. In 2011, Belt was awarded the San Diego Art Prize in the Emerging Artist category. Belt’s work belongs in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Belt currently lives and works in Carlsbad, CA.