Sunday, November 4, 2012

For Immediate Release:
Contact Shooting Gallery- Justin Giarla

Shooting Gallery Presents:

Empty Room
New Works by Adam Caldwell


Shooting Gallery is pleased to present Empty Room, new works by Adam Caldwell, featuring eight large oil paintings, including two triptychs. The opening reception will be Saturday, November 10th, from 7-11pm, and is free and open to the public for viewing through December 8th, 2012.

Empty Room acts as a continuation and culmination of the series Caldwell has been working on since the beginning of the year, addressing the concept of Cartesian Dualism and its impact on Western society. The landscapes and interiors of Empty Room show the breakdown of culture in the grip of these ideas, with figures and scenes that span history to meet in a composite framework of destruction. With a fluid approach to photorealism, Caldwell creates images that seem to meld into and out of each other, united only in the feelings of struggle and loss their visages evoke.

From the artist:

“These paintings are centered on the idea that the mind and body are separate things. In the west there has been a traditional boundary between the physical and the mental. This division is seen in Christianity as the separation of body and spirit and has profound implications for how we perceive the self and the world. The body is seen as shameful and Nature is fallen from grace while the mind or spirit exists in a state of potential purity and perfection. In philosophy Descartes famously defended the idea of dualism. I wanted to examine these ideas and show how badly they have affected our culture, influencing everything from legal decisions about responsibility, the destruction of the environment, to our very concept of identity. I also intend this show to be a critique of technology and its deteriorating effects on the notion of self.

In the paintings, pieces of history, broken and abandoned buildings, isolated figures, lines of text about dualism, advertising, and machinery all collide. The space and scale of the paintings are broken up. The light can come from multiple sources. These elements convey the flickering, fragmented world we have inherited and symbolize the life that exists within the context of a split between the mind and the body, between the self and the rest of nature.”

Adam Hunter Caldwell graduated from the California College of Art with a double major in Fine Art and Illustration in 1998. Post-graduation found Caldwell explored various avenues in the arts – illustration, storyboarding, and concept art – but did not feel at home with commercial work. In 2001, he began teaching full-time at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco which allowed him to work without any constraints and experiment in various forms of drawing, collage, and multi-media work.

The Shooting Gallery opened its doors in 2003 to the historic Tenderloin district of San Francisco, known for its lively street culture. Growing up in Southern California gave owner and curator, Justin Giarla, a love for everything lowbrow: pop art, street art, outsider art, punk rock album art, comic book art, surf/skate art and hot rod culture. Giarla recognizes how important it is to provide lowbrow artists with a platform for their work, which is exactly what Shooting Gallery has done for nearly a decade. 

Media Opportunities:
Interview with Adam Caldwell  
Interview with owner/founder/curator Justin Giarla
High-resolution images available upon request

Event Information:
Empty Room by Adam Caldwell  
Opening Reception – Saturday, November 10th, 7-11 pm
On View Through December 8th, 2012
@ Shooting Gallery (
839 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA