John McAllister Shares His Vibrant Landscapes At James Fuentes in Los Angeles

fathoms found sounds abound, 2024. Courtesy of James Fuentes.

Spring has been in full effect for over a month, but it seems warm weather has finally appeared. To celebrate the season, artist John McAllister debuted his newest exhibit, sometimes splendid seeming…stellar even…ripping at James Fuentes gallery in Los Angeles. On view now, the exhibition consists of various oil-based landscapes and still lifes that capture the “temporal and symbolic cycles of nature,” said the artist.

Using the forests of Florence, Massachusetts, as his inspiration, McAllister’s work focuses on the idea that nature is always in a constant state of flux. Taking a look into how the world changes, visually, as spring and fall begin, the two seasons disrupt the stillness of winter and what McAllister calls the “thrum of summer.”

darksome night bright beaming, 2024. Courtesy of James Fuentes.

In sometimes splendid seeming…stellar even…ripping, McAllister takes idyllic scenes from nature and reworks them to create lustrous illusions of the spaces in front of him. Using warm tones and soft brush patterns, the landscapes are transformed into brightly colored vignettes. Darksome Night Beaming is an intricate example of McAllister’s process: an almost psychedelic depiction of a lush forest with details of yellow, orange, pink, and purple, showcasing the beauty of nature in all its glory–a pond, lined with neon trees under the midnight sky. But the familiar scene is exaggerated through the artist’s use of color—McAllister paints with bold, often inverted shades to create an even brighter version of nature. His vivid tones showcase the warmth and excitement of spring; and rectify the dread and lifelessness that often comes with winter. 

These landscapes exemplify McAllister’s idea that “nature is a version of reality assembled by the human mind.” His works play with memory, and the ways in which it can enhance, or even transform, the environment. In splendid seeming…stellar even…ripping, McAllister uses these natural elements—land, water, shadow, and sky—to question how we experience and interact with nature. He asks: how do we, as humans, view simple, tangible elements of nature, like plants, in the same way we view less familiar elements, like stars? The answer, in his work, is with the same reverence and beauty.

‘splendid seeming…stellar even…ripping’ is on view now through June 1 at James Fuentes gallery in Los Angeles.