Solo exhibition | Scottsdale, AZ
Altamira Fine Art Scottsdale is pleased to welcome California painter Timothy Horn for a solo exhibition, "Reflections".
Please join us for the show Reception and Meet the Artist Thursday, February 3 from 7-9pm during the Scottsdale ArtWalk.
Timothy Horn never expected to find a fresh muse in the Mojave Desert. The Bay Area-based artist has long turned his artistic lens to frames of materiality and embodiment as reflected in the gleam of his Airstream. However, in the high desert he found himself immersed in a new sense of space and palette: limitless sky and light play allowed for scenes abstracted in their enormity. Camping alone for several days south of Barstow, he embraced the solitude and the scale. “Amid this endless, flat open space, my trailer was this little bead of shiny mercury.”
Rising to the occasion of his subject (and this Scottsdale exhibition with Altamira’s large gallery wall), he challenged himself to paint big and tell the full, humbling story of the desert. “I enlarged my lens and included the expanse around my subject. When ordinarily I might crop in much closer on the trailer, for these large canvases, I let the sky be huge. Many of the compositions are simpler for that reason because the subject is the same as a smaller painting, but I’ve considered more of the space around it and reduced the number of elements.”
One painting, set at sunset, finds the sandy ground awash in purples and pinks—a swelling expanse that reminded him of watching the sun dip into the Pacific. “My camping spot was flat with scrubby stuff—creosote and such—and yet the ground plane was undulating. I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean with my Airstream as my boat, glancing across the surface amid peaks of waves and sun.” In its final iteration, the silver of his stead contrasts strikingly with the organic hues of the arid landscape.
Another scene invited him to explore abstraction at scale: Cropping down, he painted only one wheel of the trailer—sans sky and only a band of sand beneath the chassis. Thus the composition rests solely on the reflection of the artist standing beside a yellow umbrella. “The distorted reflection on the irregular surface makes the subject disintegrate,” he says. “The painting turned into two layers of imagery. You have the surface element of the Airstream itself: its hinges, door seams, rivets and lights. And then you have the reflected image of the scenery. Your brain goes back and forth between the two.”
This oscillation extended to his experience of the desert itself: camping alone, far from the amenities often found at established campsites, he reveled in relying on himself and on his Airstream. “It felt like camping on the moon,” he says. “My Airstream became a little space capsule. At night, when the temperature dropped and the wind kicked up, I’d walk around in the moonlight, and then seal myself back in my lunar module. I was so grateful to have 20 gallons of fresh water, a soft bed, a reading light and a cookstove.”
Amid such absolute isolation, he discovered the diadem of desert solitude. “I always love a challenge. I like to try and figure things out, to struggle and do something new. Increasing the scale of this body of work has taught me a lot, and helped me show things about my time in the desert.”
Pre-sales available. Contact the gallery for details: (480) 949-1256, firstname.lastname@example.org.