Conor Backman (b. 1988, Arlington, VA) graduated from VCU in 2011 with BFAs in Painting+Printmaking and Sculpture+Extended media. His work has been included in exhibitions at David Zwirner, New York; The Capodimonte Museum, Naples Italy; Galerie Gebr Lehmann, Berlin; Super Dakota, Brussels; Smart Objects, Los Angeles; Saamlung, Hong Kong; and Higher Pictures, New York. In the last year Backman has had solo exhibitions at Smart Objects, LA; James Fuentes, New York, and Retrospective, Hudson, NY. In 2017 he will have his first US museum solo exhibition at the University of Albany Museum SUNY.
Backman will present works from several ongoing series that use the color orange to explore ideas around color as a material, flatness in representational and abstract painting, and the medium's relationship to time.
In a work titled “Painting Palettes”, Backman has created a monochromatic image of oil paint newly out of its tube as it appears when set up on a palette. An actual palette, used to render the image, is mixed on the same surface of the canvas.
In other works Backman plays with language, using orange as both noun and adjective. In “Orange + Red Painting” a cast of a flattened orange peel is placed in the center of a canvas soaked with red paint, flipped to reveal the back of the frame.
In the work “In Place of a Sunset” a modified paint can has been placed in the center of the canvas painted with the image of an ocean sky. The physical paint can contains a piece of rear-painted plexiglass that functions as trompe l’oeil “paint”, mimicking the surface of water while standing in for an image of the setting sun.