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Sean Flood: Urban Aesthetic
BOSTON, MA – Sean Flood returns to Childs Gallery this spring for his fourth solo exhibition, Urban Aesthetic. Through new paintings and prints, Flood continues to explore metropolitan cityscapes, their transit systems, and their people. Urban Aesthetic focuses on scenes of New York and Boston, the two cities between which the artist splits his time. With his distinctive layering and mark-making, Flood paints urban scenes in an expressive fashion that mimics actual construction practices, building an artwork, like a skyscraper, from the ground up.
Produced over the past four years, the paintings and prints in Urban Aesthetic are drawn from life. Flood often paints on streets and rooftops, as well as sketches in subways. Capturing images in this fashion, the artist uncannily taps into the reverberating energy of city life, each brushstroke a distinctive mark enlivened with the spontaneity inherent in plein air work.
Flood’s paintings and prints primarily focus on a rapidly changing urban environment. His work over the years can almost be viewed as documentary: evincing the rise of new buildings and structures as well as the demolition of the old. For all their moving intensity, they mark a definitive place and time, a glimpse at the city just as it is when Flood captures it – bottling the energy of a specific moment on paper or canvas.
This urban energy is integral to each of Flood’s works, as he strives to translate its palpable feeling to static form. Flood also observes a city’s varied interactions, between buildings, streets, and people, through dynamic mark-making. His attention to the many synergies of urban life is particularly strong in paintings like Chandler Tremont Plaza, where Boston’s low brick buildings compete with modern skyscrapers, and his Passenger series, in which subway commuters variously interact with each other and their phones.
Starting as a painter, Flood has now for many years integrated printmaking (primarily monotype) into his oeuvre. He continues to work fluidly between painting, printmaking, and drawing, paying particular attention to how atmosphere, texture, and mark-making come together throughout different media. Urban Aesthetic brings together examples of these different techniques, weaving an exhilarating and insightful journey through the streets of Boston and New York.
Sean Flood: Urban Aesthetic is on view March 17 through May 14, 2022. A reception with the artist will be held Thursday, March 17, 4-8pm.