Drive-by Projects is pleased to present November, an exhibition of paintings by Chris Faust and Brad Killam. November is the penultimate month. Falling between autumn and winter, it is almost a season unto itself as colors shift towards earth tones and the landscape reveals its bones and contours. Rooting their work in personal observation, both Faust and Killam explore color, time, space in this selection of evocative paintings.
Brad Killam is a keen observer. Often painted on location, his small, boldly gestural works swing between painterly landscapes and total abstraction. Killam spends much of his time in rural Wisconsin and there is a reverence for landscape here, yet he also has a keen eye for the formal elements of painting, form, pattern, color, compostition, which are addressed directly in the pure abstractions. When his wife, Michelle Grabner, gives an eloquent analysis of Killam’s paintings in a dialogue that is the forward of a recent publication, he responds with a simple, “Yeah, well said.” We say the same about these little jewel-like paintings.
Chris Faust is an observer as well. He refers to his “diaristic” process as a documentary voyage. “As I move through the world, I document and archive. I am not doing anything special, I am merely making the effort to notice, to stabilize it, and to make some sense of it.” Formally, Faust’s landscape paintings could be described as Whistler-esque arrangements in grey and black. His gaze is long and wide as he takes in the skeletal outline of leafless hills. Lone trees stand vigil for the artist who uses titles like Watchers and Sentinel. One can’t help but impose a narrative on Faust’s paintings in an attempt to decipher the meaning of these mysteriously noir works.