Paintings balance the abstract, organic 

Energy, pattern, light and emotion are notions that spark Matt Mignanelli to paint with an exuberance that has been exhibited, coveted and collected all over the United States and Europe.

Starting Friday, Medicine Agency Gallery presents “Transformative Illuminations,” a solo exhibition from the New York City-based artist whose bright work recently was featured in the “Awesome Number One Big Fun Group Show!” at Medicine. Mignanelli also nearly sold out a solo run at Recoat Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland, around the same time.

“Matt is someone whose career I’ve followed very closely. I’ve wanted to work with him from the very beginning, ever since starting the agency,” gallery founder and creative director John LaCroix says. “We’re made of the same fabric.”

“Transformative Illuminations” contains Mignanelli’s signature juxtaposition of the organic and the geometric, composed in rich, vibrant hues. This time around, he delves more deeply into his motif.

“My work abstractly deals with the struggle between structure and nature,” Mignanelli says. “In the most recent body of work I’ve tried to push that a step further and, while still focusing in on that theme, explore how light interacts within these ambiguous spaces. The structure is portrayed in much of the work through patterning, and hard shapes, while the nature is represented through organic forms and the gradiating light.”

Mignanelli is said to be calculating and precise; his approach to painting has been compared to that of a scientist. Yet as exact as they are, Mignanelli’s works are abstract by nature — not literal but rather blithe.

“[His paintings] feel like a playland,” LaCroix says.

Using media such as birch panel, canvas and paper, Mignanelli examines relationships that create a landscape when one steps back and takes it all in, LaCroix says. Textures are created in the paint, and the tactile results are constructed and seen in a new and different way.

“There is so much more depth when you really look … it’s a little psychedelic … but with a lot of control,” LaCroix says. “Very meticulous, Matt is someone who is capturing a split second in a strange and unique way.”

juliachan@sfexaminer.com

IF YOU GO

Transformative Illuminations

Where: Medicine Agency Gallery, 1262 Mason St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Friday for opening reception; show runs through Sept. 10
Admission: Free
Contact: (415) 829-8615, www.medicineagency.com

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