Shane McAdams

Shane McAdams
N48W6000 Spring Street
Cedarburg, WI 53012

Shane McAdams is an artist and writer commuting between Brooklyn, NY and Cedarburg, WI


My work is concerned with the broadest and deepest sense of the concept of landscape; as a space that stretches endlessly before us, presenting the possibility to accept it either as an expanse of raw uninterrupted reality, or to idealize, embellish, and edit it as we see fit.

I grew up in the desert Southwest, ringed by a horizon interrupted occasionally by sandstone outcroppings. As a child I was visually taken by this sculpted topography, amazed when my father told me that the layered strata of rock had been fashioned by years of water and wind. My first creative interventions into this environment were crude: I pulverized sandstone blocks with a hammer, dug into cliff faces to excavate minerals, and dredged sand with magnets for iron dust that I cured into patties of iron oxide inside my father’s tobacco tins.

The physical sense of land and material has continued to guide my work, both as a symbol of process and as a source of content. I remain interested in how the incremental effects of time can create something more structured and unique than I might ever make with my own hands. My work merges this accidental language with a the more traditional language of painting and by contrast questions what looks like nature, what symbolize nature, and what is nature.

The form in my work is often analogous to the methods of its creation. Their structures emerge from the physical properties inherent within specific, mundane materials such as Elmer’s glue, correction fluid, ballpoint pen ink and plastic resin, whose limits are stretched by subjecting them to non-traditional applications. These applications generate complexity that belies the simplicity of their creation, and in the process unearth fundamental questions about what is natural and what is artificial.