Russell Young - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Russell Young draws inspiration from the natural world in A Mid Summer Night's Dream, a new series of large-scale abstract oil paintings. Young looks to Lotusland at twilight to create an immersive abstract landscape in which the eye floats in suspended space. Moody indigos ranging from pastel blue to inky navy create a saturated and disorienting space reminiscent of where the ocean meets sky; day meets night. Within each composition, the artist creates beautifully rendered details pulled from nature. The fan of a river delta, plant fossils, and coral reef all serve as source material for these masterfully quiet moments in an otherwise explosive series of compositions. Young, an artist, known for large-scale silkscreen paintings of cultural icons, stretches his creative range in this series created especially for Lotusland.
In A Mid Summer Night's Dream, Young looks to American Abstract Expressionism and French modernist Yves Klein in terms of scale, bold compositions and the performative aspect of the artist's creative process. Russell Young's practice is rooted in action painting: blaring Icelandic rock band Sigur Ros in his California studio, the artist uses his hands, feet, and body to leave layer upon layer of marks, lines, and smears. The canvas is placed on the studio floor, jumped on, pressed down, propped up and painted on with hands and limbs. The result is a nuanced composition that is simultaneously explosive and disciplined. Oil paints, oil sticks, pastels, charcoal, and shellac are all used to create this bold new body of work.