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James McGarrell Raptor
James McGarrell Naxos
James McGarrell Eleusis
James McGarrell Cythera
James McGarrell Delos
James McGarrell Aeaea
James McGarrell Show Announcement

Press Release

Antic in Arcadia-
Processions, Parades & Triumphs
Sep 9 - Oct 14, 1997

Starting Tuesday, September 9th, the George Adams Gallery will show a new series of verso/variant paintings by James McGarrell. Titled Antic in Arcadia: Processions, Parades and Triumphs, each work depicts a procession of classical - and not so classical  - figures set in the landscape. Centaurs, maidens, figures on horseback or in trucks, bulls, cats and dogs, a motorcyclist, and musicians carrying all manner of instruments march across the landscape. McGarrell, who cites Watteau, Titian and Bellini as inspirations, chose the parade motif because of its compatibility with the verso/variant.

There are six verso/variant polyptychs in the exhibition: Raptor, Cythera, and Naxos from 1996, andEleusis, Delos, and Aeaea from 1997. Each incorporates from two to as many as five panels, and each may be arranged in almost any combination and still maintain a pictorially continuous space. Eleusis, for example, a four panel painting measuring just under ten feet long is capable of as many as 16 possible sequential variations.

In an artist's statement accompanying the exhibition, McGarrell writes: "I had been attracted to the multipaneled painting forms of diptychs and triptychs [because] they imposed upon fictional invention an overall structure, like movements in musical composition or stanzas in the printed poem. About five years ago I discovered that an entirely new and different painting could be made from one of these complexes by reconfiguring the separate rectangles. This rearrangement might transform not only the formal rhythms and spatial flow of the piece, but also the tensions and connections between images in the painted world."

Exhibition Checklist

1. Cythera, 1996 
oil on canvas
37 x 56 inches
2 panels

2. Naxos, 1996
oil on canvas
28 x 148 inches
4 panels

3. Delos, 1997
oil on canvas
49 x 100 inche
2 panels

4. Eleusis, 1997
oil on canvas
24 x 110 inches
5 panels

5. Raptor, 1996
oil on canvas
37 x 56 inches
2 panels

6. Aeaea, 1997
oil on canvas
24 x 66 inches
3 panels