Jack Reilly Abstract illusionism
Jack Reilly's 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.
Jack Reilly Abstract illusionism
Jack Reilly Painting
Jack Reilly Painting
Jack Reilly Painting
Jack Reilly Denver Art Museum Jack Reilly Artforum 1979

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