Jean-Pierre Roy at the Torrance Art Museum
Torrance Art Museum
November 21 - December 19
Opening Reception November 21, 6-9.
Jean-Pierre Roy translates Edmund Burke’s 18th century idea of the Sublime for our current era by replacing the classical ruins and dark forests of the Romantic landscape painters with shorn buildings, columns of smoke, twisted steel, and smashed concrete. It is the Hudson River School born of a post-Hollywood sense of the world. Roy’s iconic compositions are pictorial vehicles for the contemplation of our current cultural and social anxieties.  Roy re-imagines these post-apocalyptic dystopias as secular totems to the forces of change. Through the creative process of inventing these imaginary landscapes, he attempts to understand the fixed systems of existence while seducing viewers into the painted space.
While acknowledging their cinematic escapist influences ( i.e., The Road Warrior, Planet of the Apes, The Matrix), Roy's dystopian constructions of a new American Mythology join a more psychological tradition of apocalyptic self-exploration and spectacle, where landscapes change their meaning with time – buildings become memorials, barren wastelands stand as national monuments to the nature of change, and cities dream about when they were once whole.
Conjuring images from his imagination to create "internal landscapes", Roy ensures that he is constantly engaged with the discovery of the material relationships involved in world creation and destruction. The search for a balance of opposing forces – atomic cohesion vs. repulsion, human vs. natural systems of organization, precision vs. abstraction, growth vs decay, – is what drives the artist's desire to quantify the world.
Landscape or Questioning the continued relevance of investigating the state of the pre-expansionate universe when it 
appears that time itself did not exist to measure the change.  2009. Oil on Canvas, 72 x 228" (Detail)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009