James Sheehan works miniscule to instill a sense of grandeur. Like the conception of a small keyhole that opens up and engages distant worlds, this work is physically contextual—rather performative as it draws you in and sends you back. Ideally the works are embedded into the wall, where the plane of the wall meets the plane of the painted surface, forcing the architecture to act as its frame. That speck on the wall is profoundly weighted by the context of its solitary nature and should pull a punch from twenty feet away as well as two inches close. It is from this point of contact these paintings seek to deconstruct the boundaries that transmit or confuse our collective relationship to image consumption. By condensing and impacting the interpretation of a singular image into a visceral, slowed-down process, the aim of Sheehan’s work is to maneuver the implicit socio-political construct that an image maintains for a very specific hint of transcendence.
James Sheehan has had solo shows in Zurich, Montreal and New York and participated in various museum and gallery exhibitions in Tokyo, Munich, New York, San Francisco, Zurich and Moscow. He has received numerous grants and awards include the NYFA, ARCUS Residency in Japan, LMCC Residency in the World Trade Center, the Pollock-Krasner, and Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Grant. He has presented lectures on his work at the Whitney Museum, National Academy Museum and the 92nd St Y Art Center in New York City.
Courtesy of the Artist