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Presque Vu: the work of Adam Meyer

By Dan Swartz

Fort Wayne Reader


While the idea of the "crossover" artist is now something common within pop culture, and within the realm of music, it has also been a growing trend within the visual art world as well. While many artists have backgrounds in other fields, and sometimes continue to work in them, there tends to be a barrier between making art work, and then producing something else through a more concerted industry. Until recently, few artists would also move between the genres of the arts, specifically between visual art and music, as the invisible barriers between the two art forms would essentially dictate that if you can do one, you essentially must have a deficiency in talent to professionally pursue the other.

While Fort Wayne's art world still sees many of these boundaries, the artist Adam Meyer seems to be finding his way between the folds existing and thriving as a graphic designer through COYA Creative his firm, as a musician with a catalogue of albums, and as a visual artist primarily focusing on abstract paintings and works on paper.

Meyer's visual work is both adventurous and bold in that he is primarily calling on the abstract expressionist movement of the mid-twentieth century and attempting to give it new life through the incorporation of technology and contemporary life. While on the surface much of his work would seem to mirror some of the iconic works by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and some of the less household names of Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, Meyer finds ways to subvert some of their methods and create more intimacy and relation between his works and viewer.

Meyer's use of technology also gives his bodies of work great diversity. Be they video games, the design of a cassette tape case, manipulated image and digital prints, or sculptural light based installations, Meyer's work can always be seen as taking a fresh look on a more common object, technique, or method.

In pieces like "Crossroads", a large scale fully abstract, non-objective painting, Meyer most clearly references abstract expressionism, with frenetic brushstrokes, a human scale and orientation of painting to allow the viewer to be become lost in the image by it being capable of filling their peripheral vision, and being primarily a serious exploration in color. However, "Crossroads" is also a collage of this fine tradition once the viewer dissects the image to find layer upon layer of different artist styles. One layer will reference the truly haunted logorrhea of Mark Tobey, then there will be a veil of Pollock drips which turn into the vascular or nervous system of the painting, followed by an incredibly thoughtful choice of color comparisons via Rothko, followed by a structured carapace of Franz Kline bold lines blotting out finer detail below.

In works on paper, like "Dream in Neon" #1 and #2, "Beetles and Flowers", and a pair of "Untitled" images, Meyer's work can be found by the viewer to be somewhat more subdued, and equal parts relatable and mysterious. These pieces pack in power throughout economic use of paint and pigment, and are visible tests within Meyer's work, which allows the viewer to understand his prototyping process. While these works are also more versatile in the kind of space they can be displayed in as well, they become Meyer's most accommodating works within the parameters of "traditional" art.

Tying directly into Meyer's profession, and using many of the components of that visual vocabulary are his digital prints. While there is a great debate forever going to exist with the realms of digital photography and the world of image making over the relevancy of digital manipulated images and how the art world should or should not allow such a thing to exist and carry value, as we have seen in most other aspects of the Modern era, it is best to just quietly dislike and carry on, because the "march of progress" will not stop due to contemporary opinions. In Meyer's digital print work, the viewer can see very specific manipulations used again and again, becoming almost like his set of digital brushes and brushstrokes subjected to a found or produced image more than the "insidious" nature of being able to alter and image and hide your tracks via some software. Images like "LXV" and "Lake Effect" seem to most effectively "hide" their methods of construction, taking the images to a place where one does not truly understand what they are looking at via common symbols or comparisons to other works. Other images like "Keep Your Mind Open" and "Pink Moon," while still being somewhat ambiguous use very common shapes and color combinations making them feel somewhat more relatable.

In "Presque Vu," Adam Meyer also give us a glimpse of his knack for installation works with a video game filled with his abstract images as the player roams through a virtual landscape, through "Open," a fluorescent light powered sign watching over the entire exhibition, and through the scattered piles of spray painted concrete blocks which the artist broke apart, then painted, playing with the form and function of the object. While Adam Meyer simultaneously exists within these three worlds, he has the benefit of being enriched by not one, but three art forms, drawing on strengths and mitigating weaknesses as he moved from one to another. While this crossbreeding of work is different and currently rare in Fort Wayne's art scene, it is likely going to continue to gain popularity as the barriers between art forms continues to fade.

For More Information:
"Presque Vu: A solo exhibition by Adam Meyer"
Now through August 2nd

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