JACK REILLY PAINTINGS
As one of the foremost American painters working in shaped canvas, for the past three decades, Jack Reilly has maintained his affinity for purity and simplicity in painting, albeit shrouded in complex structures, visual systems and laborious technique. His shaped paintings consist of thousands of brushstrokes arranged in linear formats on geometric canvas structures. This work involves compulsive attention to surface detail and mathematical systems, combined with elements of randomness and serendipity. Working in acrylic polymers and metallic pigments, Reilly's color compositions consist of emotional, intuitive and theoretical systems arranged in linear formats that interact with the shape of each canvas. Reilly's "cadenced" brushwork, which originated in his early abstract paintings, has been compared to the visual complexity and visceral quality of Byzantine mosaics and Gothic stained glass.
The rich viscosity of Reilly's paint mixture results in fluid, wet-looking and reflective surfaces. It could be said that these new paintings pay a playful homage to nineteenth-century Pointillism (without including any actual subject matter). However, on closer investigation, it is evident that these densely-polychromed works are an evolution of Reilly's earlier geometric canvases, incorporating the cross-pollination of painting and sculpture. A goal of this work is to reappraise and comment on evolving issues that originated in twentieth-century abstract painting and continue into today's contemporary genres. Ultimately though, these pieces are poetic objects of contemplation and a continuation of Reilly's explorations into the sensuality of color, luster and surface combined with the dynamic power of line and structure.