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Exhibit by artist Dan McCleary draws praise

The painter’s work offers insight into everyday people doing seemingly routine things

Painting by Dan McCleary
Dan McCleary's paintings are on display at the USC Fisher Museum of Art through March 7. (Image courtesy USC Fisher Museum of Art)

An exhibition of paintings by Los Angeles artist Dan McCleary at the USC Fisher Museum of Art is drawing rave reviews.

The exhibition, titled Dan McCleary: Every Day Sacred, opened last month and continues through March 7.

“McCleary endows small acts of everyday perception with hushed reverence,” Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight wrote, calling the artist “among the finest figurative painters working today.”

McCleary specializes in interior scenes featuring one or very few subjects seemingly engaged in a state of contemplative introspection. In a style based on Renaissance and other renowned paintings by artists such as Piero della Francesca, Paolo Veronese, Johannes Vermeer and Edouard Manet, Every Day Sacred is able to highlight the easily missed details of routine moments.

McCleary depicts his subjects absorbed in the mundane experience of life-ordinary and daily activities — at a coffee shop, at the hair salon, at the office — and renders an intimate and psychologically charged portrait of the human condition, a picture of solitary icons populating secular interiors.

A veteran of the Los Angeles art scene, McCleary also founded Art Division in 2010, a nonprofit organization that teaches art to underserved young adults in the Rampart District of Los Angeles.

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