It’s an easy thing to draw lines of influence. Constant inundation by images from the past and present have made us all experts on visual connections we are unable to parse or articulate. Over the past eight years, Adam Sorensen has established a process-heavy mode of working that flits between direct allusion and a more personal abstraction…For all the grandeur and glow and pop sensibilities present in his works, Sorensen is a surprisingly methodical and traditional painter. There are literal layers in his pieces. Using materials like oil and wax and linen, he creates scenes that many might perceive from afar as acrylic or digital. This underlying homage to the history of painting is something worth noting.
New Paintings marks a progression in the artist’s steady evolution. Each new chapter further explores his visual language and pushes the elements until they reveal their inner workings. In one exhibition the branches emerge from the lake; in the next, they blossom. By simplifying the composition, controlling the palette and condensing the focus, Sorensen’s new works take on the guise of magnified miniatures. Intense detail is expanded and the artist hands us a key to his canvases. But, like an ever-expanding fractal, there is always something smaller lurking on the edge of these paintings. Horizons come into focus and the silver surfaces of Sorensen’s depths set our eyes reeling in a continuous journey inward.
Graham W. Bell
Since 2006 my work has explored the subject of landscape painting, both as a craft and as a concept. 19th century romantic painting and Ukiyo-e prints from Japan have been my biggest influences, partially from the technique, but mostly from the context within art history that they were created. The pop sensibilities of the "Floating world" prints and the exuberantly sublime romanticism of painters like Frederic Church and Caspar David Friedrich, provide a backdrop for my own embellished and imagined work.
The process itself has evolved many different ways. Marks that began experimentally have been honed and repeated, while other pictorial elements have been altogether eliminated. The paintings are composed over long periods of time, reactive of itself, and are executed with methodical and consistent brush strokes. The surface and consistency of the paint are as important as the composition.
It's from this ever evolving process, my primary influences, and my consistent conceptual subject that these new paintings are best contextualized. The newest element conceptually, are the craggy objects emerging or disintegrating into the water in the foreground. For years my paintings have been landscapes only, bereft of any particular subject or action. I wanted to challenge that static space with a component that felt natural to the setting, yet contradicted the stillness of the setting alone. The push/pull of this object extends to the question of it coming or going, forming or eroding. The ambiguity of the subject is it's crucial feature. This element acts as a subject as well. An occupier of the once empty space.