This painting depicts the catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1888. Despite its small scale, this composition packs in a great amount of action and spatial invention. The precision of how the figure is rendered contrast the diffuse surrounding landscape. The artist approaches painting as a medium of constant transformation and transition. Chan's palette, drawing influence from post-impressionism, pairs muted tones with gesture-like applications of symbolic bright colors.
This work is part of a series by the artist that draws its subject matter from early baseball cards. The poses of the baseball players are meditations, representations completely outside any relevance to the game or even team sports in general. These works, exploring figure painting and the possibilities of composition, frequently depict baseball players bent over; when the sportsmen are catching ground balls, the objects are near the bottom of the frame. Chan draws comparison between the effort in the players' postures and other physical aspects of painting and representation. In particular, the works explore the role of the hand in the circulation of images: from the original baseball cards, to the players’ gestures, to the painter’s hand which gently directs the viewers' attention.
② Represented by:
Jamie Chan’s paintings depict mundane marginalia like early baseball cards as well as excerpts of Dutch renaissance paintings. The artist’s palette draws from post-impressionist works, pairing muted tones with gesture-like applications of symbolic color. Chan approaches painting as a medium of constant transformation and transition—frequently exploring the hand’s role in the creation, circulation and acquisition of images.