Shane McAdams
N48W6000 Spring Street
Cedarburg, WI 53012

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


I was always visually taken by the sculpted topography of the desert Southwest where I grew up. I remember being taken when my father told me that the rock formations and bands of color in them had been fashioned by time and weather. I wanted to be the wind and make something the same way so my parents got me a rock tumbler for my 7th birthday. It’s payoffs were excruciatingly slow, so instead I chose to pulverize sandstone blocks with a hammer, dig into cliff faces to excavate minerals, and dredge the 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’m interested in how the incremental effects of time can create something more structured and unique than I can 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 symbolizes nature through process, and what is nature.

Forms in my work are often analogous to the methods of their creation. Their structures emerge from the physical properties inherent in the specific, mundane materials I use, such as Elmer’s glue, correction fluid, ballpoint pen ink and resin. I stretch the limits of these media by subjecting them to non-traditional applications that ultimately generate complexity that belies the simplicity of their creation, like agates polished in tumbler for two weeks, or sandstone outcroppings rubbed down by the wind for millennia.