Aucocisco Galleries • Portland, ME • aucocisco.com • November 5–23, 2013

By: Britta Konau

Painter Tim Clorius occupies multiple geographic, artistic, and temporal worlds that enrich his art in unexpected ways. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Clorius studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Maine College of Art in Portland where he now lives. His work has been exhibited in Germany and Greece, has been selected for juried exhibitions at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Illinois Institute of Art, and he recently had a solo show at Merrimack College.

Portland’s Aucocisco Galleries is showing 14 of Clorius’s recent paintings of complex scenarios and singular incidents that range vastly in scale. As an American regionalist styled parable, If Fishing Was Like Banking humorously visualizes the income discrepancy between those working in the financial sector and the average family as a gargantuan catch is being retrieved by a tractor, while a luckless father and son look on. Although painted meticulously, Clorius generally focuses on compositional elements that further the storyline, leaving backgrounds and settings as abstracted, suggestive environments, revealing them as grounded in the imagination.

Tim Clorius
Tim Clorius, If Fishing Was Like Banking, 2013, oil on canvas, 18 x 24″. Courtesy of Aucocisco Galleries. Photo: Gary Lowell.

As surreal and dreamlike as Clorius’s images look, they arise from strong political, social, and environmental concerns. They envision a not-too-distant-future in which greed has created absurd incongruities, such as a glowing ATM machine in a desolate mountain range. Elsewhere, Clorius brings nature to the brink of unnaturalness, as in the circular waves of Impulse. All of Clorius’s paintings are steeped in art history and, rare for contemporary art, aim for a vintage look that sometimes extends to the frames. Combining humor with seriousness of painterly intent and vision, they are confident, contemporary easel paintings that often make painting itself their subject.

Not only is Clorius an accomplished painter of enigmatic narratives, he is also an aerosol artist of intricate, free-style abstractions who works with other street artists and youth to elevate the appreciation of legal graffiti and advocates for its use as a civic tool. Although Clorius pursues aerosol and oil painting as separate endeavors, there is occasional formal cross-fertilization and a shared “upfront” sensibility that bridges and enriches both worlds.

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