Groveland Gallery’s fall season continues with an exhibition of new paintings by Minneapolis artist Rod Massey. In this exhibition, Massey continues to explore varied nooks and crannies of the Twin Cities. With the support of a 2013 State Arts Board Grant, Massey’s observation continued beyond the stucco houses, postwar ramblers, back alleys, and apartment side yards of his quiet Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood. Parking lots, railroad yards, and abandoned grain elevators have now become subjects for Massey’s inspection.
Massey is part of a group of contemporary Midwestern artists dedicated to re-examining and continuing the tradition of American Realist scene painting. To this tradition of portraying towns, cities, and villages, Massey has added a unique personal twist, casting a subtle comic shadow on the ordinary places in our lives. Massey is best known for his animated portraits of houses, apartment buildings, alleyways, and backyards of his south Minneapolis neighborhood. His relationship to the world around him is evident in his paintings, which expose his personal and sometimes exasperated affection for the common places and events in our lives. He acknowledges the less-inhabited areas of his hometown, aptly recognizing the sometimes awkward intersection between the domestic and industrial landscapes that coexist in city life.
In recent years, Massey’s investigation of the city has expanded beyond houses and backyards to include gritty, urban subjects such as freeway construction projects, derelict railroad cars, and decrepit grain elevators. In this exhibition, Massey seeks to explore the formal relationships within his paintings – his closely cropped views of his subjects reveal a slightly abstract perspective. Old elevator shafts become flat planes, floating to the surface of the painting; colorful rooftop sheds, without any context beyond the gray, winter sky, become a carefully composed still life of architectural forms.
Sally Johnson, Director
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