How many exhibition works:
Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Leave A Mark Or A Dime, an exhibition of recent
paintings by Robert A. McCann on view from June 9 through July 10th at the gallery’s 56 Bogart
Street address in Bushwick, Brooklyn. An opening reception will be held Friday, June 10 from
6:00 to 8:00 PM. From 5 to 6 PM on the 10th there will be a special pre-reception with the artist
for families with young children, the immunocompromised, and happy hour go-getters, where
masking will be required of all but the little kiddos.
In his latest body of work, McCann continues to explore the shaky terrain of modern life as
interpreted by the untrustworthy narrator self. Inventive visual storytelling in the paintings
dissolves the distinctions between memories, current events, history, and dreams. Developed
over the last two years, McCann found inspiration for this series in becoming a first-time father
at middle age, at the start of a worldwide pandemic. The unreal, constructed space of a
painting is a good analog to a world where communication is fragmented and disinformation
ascendant. The show’s title nods to this ambiguity of language distressed over time. The
unresolved metaphors in this group of paintings allude to big themes of desire and loss, love
and hope, progress, and society.
McCann sees himself as “a more-is-more” kind of painter. He approaches painting as a
fundamentally fictional space, where different kinds of idea can be approached from odd
angles. Sometimes he populates the work with pop culture figures of major and minor fame.
These figures will resonate in some way as personal mythologies that stand in for an
experience. They also serve as shorthand for a particular sort of character the viewer may
recognize. Further, the internet and social media can be seen to have flattened the barrier
between celebrities and acquaintances, or between personal space and the news. The off kilter
feeling of public and private being drunk from the same firehose has been another theme in
McCann’s recent work.
The paintings that make up Leave A Mark Or A Dime are oil paint on canvas, linen, or panel.
The surfaces meander from thick to thin, rough to smooth, and careful to chaotic. The
multiplicity of painting—the impurity of it—is a guiding force. To physically make a picture that
feels believable is a cathartic studio ritual.
Robert A. McCann is based in East Lansing, Michigan, where he teaches Painting and
Foundations at Michigan State University. His recent venues of solo exhibition include the
University of Arkansas Galleries in Little Rock, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the South Bend
Museum of Art, and Artlink Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His artwork can also be seen in the
Chicagoland area this fall in the three-person exhibition Layered Meanings at the Evanston Art
56 Bogart St #115