Lee Saloutos: Signs, Symbols & Surfaces
In his close-up shots of surfaces, Saloutos mirrors the approach of modernist abstract painters such as Morris Louis, Frank Stella, and Clyfford Still via intense concentration on color and texture. Saloutos minimizes ‘clues’ to these images’ sources and contexts; there are no horizons or edges here, just granular detail. Only occasional fragments of signage and lettering stenciled onto rusty metal or splintered wood offer any reminder of the wider, or, rather, manufactured world. Having begun the series accidentally in the course of another shoot, Saloutos uncovers an unexpectedly compelling crossover between our social and natural histories.
Lee Saloutos’s landscape, interior, and close-up surface images are highly detailed and richly atmospheric. These are works that transport the viewer to locations that, while usually unidentified, evoke nonetheless the unending action of the elements and the inexorable passage of time. Even more than this, they hint at a narrative of national decline, the gradual weathering of man-made structures and forms seeming to resonate with the collapse of manufacturing industry. In choosing his subjects, Saloutos also offers a commentary on the state of the nation, linking abstract tone and texture to narratives of social and economic dissolution.