early abstract work
(1978-1979) reflected various influences of prominent artists of the
time including Frank Stella, Elsworth Kelly, Ron Davis, Jules Olitski,
and Trevor Bell. Each of these painters dealt with aspects of structure,
color and ambiguous pictorial space; elements that converged in Reilly's
early abstract paintings.
By extracting and redefining certain concepts prevalent in contemporary
abstract art, his work commented on numerous formal and pictorial
issues of the era. Combining illusionary space with hard-edge, linear
structure and color field painting, Reilly created a unique synthesis
of geometric abstraction and illusive pictorial depth, sometimes referred
to as "Abstract Illusionism." In April 1979 Reilly's work
was exhibited in his first solo show at the Molly Barnes Gallery in
Los Angeles. USC Fisher Gallery's curator Donald Brewer included Reilly's
painting in a major museum exhibition entitled "The Reality of
Illusion," an international survey of "Trompe l' oeil"
in both abstract and representational art. The exhibition debuted
at the Denver Art Museum and traveled throughout the United States
for two years.
In these works, Reilly challenges concepts of illusionary pictorial
space within an abstract painting context by abandoning traditional
methods used to create visual depth in two-dimensional art. Perspective
is replaced with the appearance of multiple light sources resulting
in a visual paradox, as linear imagery appears to be suspended in
front of the canvas surface.
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For more information concerning
Abstract Painting, visit the Abstract-Art repository