Shadow and Substance by John W. Carlson

Curator’s Statement

Beautiful compositions, skillful figurative paintings and a stunning use of black, white and gray characterize the work of John Carlson.

More than stunning figurative work, John’s paintings go much deeper. They are full of angst and psychologically complex images.  They draw the viewer to analyze the figures and their relationship to the artist.  “Why did he paint this?” the viewer wonders while, at the same time, admiring the beautiful silverish shades of grey.  John is also masterful at stylizing the figure without lacking evidence that he is thoroughly knowledgeable about anatomy and the gesture of the pose.

All these layers and complexities give John’s work a contemporary edge that renders each individual drawing or painting to be a part of the artist, John Carlson as well as fabulous visual art pieces for the wall!

Artist Statement

In all my work, I search for the core, the center of the thing.  The emotional DNA if you will.  The thing that we respond to individually, but are ultimately all connected by.

1.''Doubt and the angel'' 32x40'' oil and pencil on paper framed- $2500.00

Doubt and the Angel

32″ x 40″

oil and pencil on paper, framed

$2500.

2.''Starman'' 27.5x30'' paint and charcoal on paper              unframed -$200.00

Starman

27.5″ x 30″

paint and charcoal on paper, unframed

$200.

3.''The River'' 30x40'' oil and charcoal on canvas                   $800.00

“The River”

30″ x 40″

oil and charcoal on canvas

$800.

4.''Winter walk'' 36x48'' oil on canvas                                        $1200.00

Winter Walk

36″ x 48″

oil on canvas

$1200.

5.  ''Herd'' 36x48'' oil on canvas                                        $1200.00

Herd

36″ x 48″

oil on canvas

$1200.

6.''Nude#1'' 21.5x26'' charcoal on cardboard                              unframed-$200.00

Nude #1

21.5″ x 26″

charcoal on cardboard, unframed

$200.

7.''The Fence'' 24x30'' oil and charcoal on canvas                     $500.00

The Fence

24″ x 30″

oil and charcoal on canvas

$500.

8.''And then youth'' 30x40'' oil and charcoal on canvas               $800.00

“And Then Youth”

30″ x 40″

oil and charcoal on canvas

$800.

9.''Birth of Venus'' 36x48'' oil on canvas                                  $850.00

Birth of Venus

36″ x 48″

oil on canvas

$850.

10.''Monkeys'' 36x48'' oil on canvas                                       $1200.00

Monkeys

36″ x 48″

oil on canvas

$1200.

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“If Constellations Had Been Named in the 20th Century, I Suppose We Would See Bicycles” ****Wood Block and Letterpress Prints by Mike Gill

Curator’s Statement

Often artists produce works that reflect their own personalities.  This is natural because art comes from the brain, heart and soul of the artist. Well, Mike Gill’s charming woodblock prints surely fit this idea.  They celebrate nostalgia, children, wonderments of simple things as well as a love for bicycles.  These works should actually be viewed in person, for they are not about computer screens, reading from Nooks or such. They are about paper, about the richness of print media in its historic sense and the ability to touch and hold something made by human hands.

Gill is masterful with beautiful compositions that are sophisticated and intelligent, yet they still retain a feeling of humanity in a folk art way. Rich layers, textures and homage to the media that makes this art, renders handsome pieces to hang on a wall. Like a conversation with the artist himself, Gill’s unpretentious work induces smiles and warm feelings, celebrating the good things in life.

 

Artist Statement

Wood block and letterpress printing in the 21st century is not the utilitarian pursuit it was when those technologies were commercially current.  Instead, they’ve become a realm of experimentation and a wayfor artists to empower themselves as publishers.  Michael Gill came to print making as a writer, looking for a way to reproduce stories for his own children.  In addition to publishing artist books, he uses the media to upcycle and recycle imagery, layering and overprinting in broadside collages.

What all the images in this virtual exhibit have in common are bicycles.  Like the printing press, Gill considers the bicycle to be one of Mankind’s greatest inventions.  As one of the poster-collages below says: “A Bicycle is a Gyroscope that Takes You Places.”  The title of this exhibit is a quotation from astronomer Carl Sagan.

Gill’s works are in public and private collections: the Cleveland Public Library Special Collection, Cleveland Art Association (CARTA), and the Cuyahoga County Administration Building.  Commissions include the Ohio Arts Council.  He has participated in exhibits at the Morgan Conservatory, Zygote Press, Beck Center for the Arts (Zygote Press Print Expedition), Breakneck Art, and others, and has had solo shows at BAYarts and William Busta Gallery.  In Fall 2014 he will travel to Dresden Germany as part of the Ohio Arts Council’s month-long residency program there.  Late in 2014 he will exhibit with Liz Maugans at Loren Naji Studio Gallery.  His artist books, including Common Household Rhymes for the Modern Child (below) are exhibited at William Busta Gallery.

Michael Gill is editor and publisher of CAN Journal, the quarterly magazine about art in Northeast Ohio, a collaborative venture with more than 70 member galleries contributing.  CAN Journal’s annual benefit party features a massive gallery vs. gallery corn hole tournament, taking place Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Morgan Conservaoty.  Tickets are available, and CAN Journal can be found online at canjournal.org.

1-carpe-bike-ride-gill

Carpe Bike Ride

wood block and letterpress print on cotton/abaca paper handmade at the Morgan Conservatory by Tom
Balbo

14″w X 18″h

$200.

2-gyroscope-that-takes-you-places-gill

A Bicycle is a Gyroscope that Takes You Places.

wood block and letterpress print

12″w X 16″h

$150.

3-great-lakes-courier-gill

Great Lakes Courier

wood block and letterpress print

commemorating the launch of a newspaper about bicycles in Northeast Ohio, featuring Bike Cleveland, the Cleveland Velodrome, Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op, and more

14″w X 12″h

$25.

4-people-on-bikes

People on Bikes series

linoleum block and letterpress, French-fold books featuring quotations about bicycles from famous
writers and thinkers including Carl Sagan, Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, Susan B. Anthony,
and many others

3.25″w X 4.25″h, set of 10

$35.

5-flying-gill

Flying on our Bikes

wood block print from Common Household Rhymes for the Modern Child

image: 5.5″w X 6.25″ h on paper 11″w X 14″h

$75.

6-pavement-gill

On the Pavement

wood block print from Common Household Rhymes for the Modern Child

image: 5.5″w X 6.25″ h on paper 11″w X 14″h

$75.

7-detour-gill (2)

A Little Detour

wood block print from Common Household Rhymes for the Modern Child

image: 5.5″w X 6.25″ h on paper 11″w X 14″h

$75.

8-miles-and-miles-gill

We Go for Miles and Miles

wood block print from Common Household Rhymes for the Modern Child

image: 5.5″w X 6.25″h on paper 11″w X 14″h

$75.

9-gyroscopic-gill

A Gyroscopic Feeling

wood block print from Common Household Rhymes for the Modern Child

image: 5.5″w X 6.25″h on paper 11″w X 14″h

$75

10-common-household-rhymes-gill

Common Household Rhymes for the Modern Child

wood block and letterpress book written, illustrated, printed, and bound by the author

featuring 17 original prints, edition of 100

$250.

Dimension by Grace Summanen

Curator’s Statement

Grace Summanen produces rich wall constructions from masses of a single type of ordinary object, joined together and pigmented through the use of various colors of poured paint.  The complex layers of color and undulations, caverns and mounds created by this combination of objects and paint compels the viewer to discover what exactly these semi-obscured, semi familiar objects actually are.  With this, one experiences an exploration very similar to that of an undersea scuba diver when examining beautiful coral and sea life.  In fact, these art objects very much have a similar appearance to coral and plant life found in our oceans…. No need for a mask or flippers to view these beautiful wall pieces, just a pair of eyes and the mind of an adventurous explorer!

Artist Statement

Seeing the world from different perspectives has always been of interest – to discover, to see deeper, to understand.  Lines often get blurred in this process, and answers are often continually shifting.  My work blurs traditional lines of painting and sculpture.  I am a painter that uses common everyday objects to create painting surfaces; and transform these throw away objects into something more than their intended use; blurring the lines between high and low art.  These materials are familiar to me and ground me in my history.  I want the viewer to investigate what makes up the relief part of the paintings.  In this discovery, a mystery opens up so you can see what was thought to be obscure, and the perspective on the usefulness of our everyday objects is transformed.

summanen1.blueyarn

Blue Yarn

cardboard, yarn, enamel & acrylic

8” W x 12” H x 4” D

$200

summanen2.pinkcrepe

Pink Crepe

cardboard box, crepe paper, enamel & acrylic

14” W x 19” H x 7” D

$400

summanen3.orangefleece

Orange Fleece

cardboard box, fleece, enamel & acrylic

14 ½” W x 20” H x 8” D

$400

summanen4.fold

Fold

cardboard box, fabric, enamel & acrylic

12” W x 18” H x 6 1/2” D

$400

summanen5.rubberband

Rubberband

cardboard box, rubberbands, enamel & acrylic

12” W x 8” H x 3” D

$200

summanen6.tapecell

Tape Cell

cardboard, scotch tape, photographic tape, enamel & acrylic

14” W x 14 ” H x 3 1/2” D

$400

summanen7.biggreen

Big Green

cardboard box, burlap coffee sack, enamel & acrylic

17” W x 22” H x 6 1/2” D

$500

summanen8.greenfleece

Green Fleece

cardboard box, fleece, enamel & acrylic

20″ H x 14 1/2″ W x 8” D

$400

summanen9.bluegreentubes

Blue Tubes

cardboard box, paper towel & toilet paper rolls, enamel & acrylic

24” H x 18” W x 7” D

$500

summanen10.orangeballs

Orange Balls

cardboard box, styrofoam balls, enamel & acrylic

12″  H x 8″ W x 3” D

$200

Funny Money by Josh Usmani

Curator’s Statement

Josh Usmani creates beautiful works by embellishing and “improving” U.S. and foreign currency.  His approach is a painterly one in that he reacts to what is already there.  His jewel-like illustrations beckon the viewer to study these miniscule works looking for details.  These art pieces are created with a conglomeration of graffiti, cartoon, calligraphy, illustration, and doodles all on paper currency, creating intimate gems.

Ironically, currency alone holds value that is assigned to it by our society, but Josh adds a value that exceeds the monetary amount through the process of transforming it into art.  He actually denounces its assigned buying power and yet brings it to a higher value through beauty and the viewer’s delight.

Artist Statement

Josh Usmani is a 29-year-old, Cleveland-based artist, writer, curator and instructor.  Since 2008, his work has been exhibited at venues such as 78th Street Studios, Case Western Reserve University, Ursuline College, IngenuityFest, SPACES, The Galleries at Cleveland State, Waterloo Arts, Gallery One Sixty, Sandusky Cultural Center, Breakneck Gallery, Pittsburgh’s Most Wanted Gallery and many more.
Josh graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Painting in 2013.  He writes weekly feature articles about local and regional art events and news for Cool Cleveland (http://CoolCleveland.com/).  He also teaches kids’ Cartooning classes around town – including at Cleveland Institute of Art – where he recently appeared as part of a “Lunch on Fridays” panel of regional art writers.  His next Cartooning 101 course at CIA starts July 28th!  See their website or call for more info.
Funny Money was an exhibition of drawn-on currency last December at Naji, Naji and Tekler at 78th Street Studios.  The show was a tongue-in-cheek “CeLeBraTiOn” of the 100-year anniversary of the Federal Reserve Act, and featured over 30 works on “real” US and international money.  Many of the bills are now in private collections, but about a dozen are still available. Josh also takes commissions – please contact him at Josh.Usmani@gmail.com for more info.
Please find him on Facebook for more info on upcoming events and many more images of his various projects.
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