Shannon Finley

born in Ontario, 1974. Lives and works in Berlin.


The paintings of Shannon Finley (1974, CA) are composed of over 30 layers of acrylic paint and transparent gels, which gives them an almost holographic, three-dimensional quality. With their geometric shapes and saturated colours they evoke a range of associations: from stained-glass windows to early Cubist experiments. An important source of inspiration for Finley is the aesthetic of early digital design. Although he creates paintings, image-editing software is an indispensible tool within his working method: "I've absorbed the computer into the composition of my works in a way that feels so natural that I hardly think of it. (...) The digital is completely intertwined with the handmade."

Following the physical application of each layer of paint, Finley digitizes the image, after which he can experiment with compositions and effects on his computer. There is an interesting tension between working in the digital and the analogue realm. With software, you can keep editing and experimenting endlessly without consequences, which makes it difficult to make definitive choices. But once he starts painting, Finley says, he sometimes misses the convenience of the 'undo button'.


Shifting Optics

Amsterdam, 6 Sep - 11 Oct '14