Who? Next month, the Horsebox gallery will present the first London solo exhibition of John Tierney – criminology professor turned musician and painter, and a self-confessed devotee of David Hockney and Edward Hopper.
What? Tierney's work focuses predominantly on the urban landscapes of Los Angeles, New York and Helsinki, and the desertscape of Joshua Tree National Park. Crisp, vibrant, and full of (much-welcomed) sunshine, the paintings are almost photorealist in their execution, yet poetic in mood, composition and colour. Echoes of Hopper's Nighthawks resound in the corner-view angles of works such as Lasipalatsi #1; while Twentynine Palms Inn's dazzling blue sky and glittering pool reveal Tierney's fondness for Hockney's LA years.
"Embracing his position as an "outsider" to the landscapes he portrays, he looks to convey a strong sense of place, to transport his viewers
Why? But this is not to suggest a lack of originality on Tierney's part. His works have a distinctly contemporary feel to them, each perfectly embodying the mood of the location they depict. This is Tierney's principal aim: embracing his position as an "outsider" to the landscapes he portrays (he was born and resides in England), he looks to convey a strong sense of place, to transport his viewers. Indeed, designer Paul Smith was so impressed by Tierney's evocative rendering of his shocking pink, cube-shaped LA store that he had the piece printed on a silk scarf and hosted Tierney's first US exhibition in the store itself.
John Tierney: Cool Brio is at the Horsebox Gallery from March 6 - 29.