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OnlineJun 06, 2024

Tim McCool Suspends Time and Shadows at Anderson Yezerski Gallery

In his new paintings, Tim McCool measures time in light and shadows that dance across the facades of his painted Boston homes, evoking a sense of fleeting magic from otherwise unmemorable buildings.

Quick Bit by Douglas Breault

Tim McCool, "Nihil Permanere Sub Sole," 2024. Acrylic on panel, 18” x 18”. Photo courtesy of Anderson Yezerski Gallery.

On view at Anderson Yezerski Gallery is a series of saturated paintings by Tim McCool depicting common Boston homes shaped by fleeting sunlight. This exhibition is a welcomed return to Boston for McCool, who earned his BA from Boston College and MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and currently resides in Austin, Texas. The flattened planes of color shift across the canvas, highlighting the allure of the palette to compensate for the lack of glory in the architecture. McCool’s dreamy tones of paint evoke a fleeting magic from an otherwise unmemorable building. His view upon these buildings seems without judgment or commentary, but as the host of beauty from the sky. The inhabitants of these homes are absent, and there are no shadows or forms of people inside the tiny windows. The curtains are drawn and the doors locked shut. The houses are the only witnesses to the sunsets projected upon their facades. 

Installation view, Tim McCool, The days pass like shadows, Anderson Yezerski Gallery, Boston, 2024. (left) Tim McCool, Sol Omnibus Lucet, 2024. Acrylic on panel, 24” x 18”. (center) Tim McCool, Tempus Volat, 2024. Acrylic on panel, 8” x 10”. (right) Tim McCool, Ruit Hora, 2024. Acrylic on panel, 24” x 18”. Photo courtesy of Anderson Yezerski Gallery.

The titles of each painting derive from the mottos engraved upon sundials, offering the intentions of the maker or owner. The painting titled Nihil Permanere Sub Sole translates to “Time Conquers Everything” and describes a cool, looming shadow encompassing an aging yellow facade of a home.  The paintings rely upon depicting shifting light through color to describe the slow crawl of time and translating the shadows from street signs and telephone wires to mark the journey of the sun. Umbra Sumus, one of the smaller paintings included in the exhibition, has a warped perspective similar to what one might find in photographs created by Google Street View, which adds to the strangeness of the landscape.

Tim McCool, Ruit Hora, 2024. Acrylic on panel, 24” x 18”. Photo courtesy of Anderson Yezerski Gallery.

The painting titled Ruit Hora translates to “Fleeting Time” and places the viewer centered on the sidewalk looking upon a simple home that could be stuck inside of a dream. The sleepwalking sensation in each painting is developed through the amplification of color in each scene, the absence of inhabitants, and the peculiar anonymity of each space. The paintings themselves are small, not devouring the tiny gallery space, and are hung like the little windows depicted within each scene, further invoking the feeling of looking outward in awe of the still moment in time.

The energy from the paintings is not quite apocalyptic but shivers with anticipation of who may be on the inside due to the voyeuristic perspective. The paintings are effective in conjuring the feeling of being lost or walking another route home. You can feel the temperature dropping at the end of the day in the image. These lifeless landscapes could exist anywhere, but the paintings contain the few moments of transcendental color from a beaming sunset layered atop a dreary home before eventually the sun dips out of sight.

Tim McCool’s “The days pass like shadows” is on view at Anderson Yezerski Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave., A16, through June 15, 2024.

Douglas Breault


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