Adrian Hatfield makes work examining the visual language strategies of science, pop culture, and fine art history in conveying unfathomably huge subject matter. Recently, his focus has narrowed to address the overwhelming reality of our unfolding environmental catastrophe.
His works are included in the public collections of The University of Michigan, The South Bend Museum of Art, the Northern Arizona University Art Museum, and The University of Iceland in Reykjavik, Iceland. Solo exhibition venues include Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, The South Bend Museum of Art, South Bend IN, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL, and Biggin Gallery, Auburn University. Two-person and small group exhibition venues include The Butcher’s Daughter, New York, NY, Jeffrey Leder Gallery, New York, NY and Jack the Pelican Presents, New York, NY. Publications include The Manifest Press International Painting Annual, Fresh Paint Magazine, Studio Visit Magazine, and Essay’d.
My research is fueled by anxiety about our current environmental crisis, and it reflects an attempt to understand these events through the lens of geologic time while simultaneously criticizing our present-day response to them.
While society is understandably dismayed at the prospects of rising oceans, shrinking agricultural production, increased natural disasters, and mass extinction, it is also true that the processes of life and evolution will continue with or without us. New ecosystems will emerge and new species will thrive. I find this process inspiring and beautiful, as well as a bit comforting in the face of potential disaster. There is hope in the realization that the natural world is bigger than us.
The intention is for the paintings to convey those experiences in tension: dread, splendor, joy, terror, wonder, and the absurdity of human inaction. Their iconography samples and recombines elements from art history, illustration, and satire, with a goal of existing somewhere between a requiem, a science fiction fever dream, and a call to arms.