Moonrise Long Island Country Road, 2005
oil on canvas encased in lead, 22 x 28 x 2 in
Adam Straus is known for his majestic and luminous depictions of the sublime in his paintings, which are often saturated with a deep concern about social and environmental issues. His penetrating dark humor can transport the viewer to post-apocalyptic worlds and often offers a wry observation on how humans have altered the natural landscape.
His appreciation of the natural world began with an adventurous childhood where he was immersed in exploring the swamps, woods, waters, and biology of South Florida, witnessing profound changes in the environment occurring during a short period of time. This experience combined with his family’s history of political and social activism in civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movements developed a sense of social consciousness which has influenced his overall body of work.
A monograph on 30 years of his work was published by Gli Ori, Italy, in 2016, with an essay by author and critic, Amei Wallach who writes that “The tradition (of landscape painting) into which Straus dared to tread … was sorely in need of reanimation. His disruptions in the years since have unsettled received assumptions as much through dark humor and bravura painting as through offering a reassessment of what it means to paint the beauty of nature in ugly times.”
Adam Straus is represented by Nohra Haime Gallery in New York City. Work by Straus is in numerous museum collections including the Parrish Art Museum, Bridgehampton, NY; Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY; List Visual Center, M.I.T., Cambridge, MA; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; The Art Museum at F.I.U., Miami, FL; Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA; The Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga TN, and the William College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA; among others. Straus lives and works in Riverhead, NY.