Synthesis is the aesthetic in art of Andrew McNay ’02

“The Production Catastrophe,” a new show of the art of Andrew McNay ’02, explores the interplay of texture and form. An opening reception with the artist was held on January 11 in the Great Hall.

Darragh Heffernan and Will Tarnell of Class I have written the following about McNay’s work:

To really get anything out of this exhibition one has to step back and appreciate its motive. It isn’t meant to be a grand showing of impressionist landscapes, pleasing gouache, oil, or watercolor paintings in delicate gilt frames. The aesthetic here is about process and, to use McNay’s own word, “synthesis.” Synthesis (as opposed to analysis) by definition requires combination, or conceptual meshing toward some end. “Catastrophe” goes about this synthesis in a few distinct ways. The artist knows very well the expectations of his audience and assembles a showing that purposefully evades those expectations. The painting “Pretty Landscape” is not pretty, and McNay is fully aware of that. On some level this show is about presenting art that is not immediately accessible. It’s about the implicit contrast of aesthetic value that stems from Abstract Expressionist/Minimalist art in a room adorned with elaborate bookcases holding century’s old books, furniture to match and photo realistic portraits of revered patrons.

The exhibit will continue through February 11. Hours are 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.

See photos from the event.

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