In The Best Way Out is Through (No. 1) and (No. 4) Michael Phelan presents two large-scale sheets of linen containing target-like designs of vividly coloured concentric rings. The artist employs a tie-dye technique in these works, an ancient method of textile production which originated in Central Asia but captured the imagination of the flower children generation of 1960s America who appropriated it as a symbol of peace, love and protest against the Vietnam War. This emblem of hippie culture has long been assimilated into mainstream western fashion yet in these works Phelan utilises this motif as a form of artistic expression, referencing several of Americas most iconic visual images. Their design recalls the target paintings of Jasper Johns and the Colour Field works of Kenneth Noland, while the heroic size of these works is redolent of the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman. Their palette rejects the psychedelic hues traditionally associated with tie-dye imagery and instead echoes the more lyrical tones of Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler. Arranging these shades in dense circles, Phelan highlights their contrasts and enhances their impact. Some colours recede while others come to the fore. Once the palette has been determined the fabrication of these works occurs in a dedicated workshop in the artists home state of Texas. By engaging in this process the artist incorporates an element of chance into his art making, as it is almost impossible to predict how the various dyes will react with each other. Resting on the boundary between hand-made art and mass produced textiles, Phelan's works are evocative of a contemporary culture in which signs are devoid of their historical meaning and now represent a conflation of interpretations through a process of mass-marketing and immersion.