1928 (Rome, Georgia)
Self portrait - Artist self-portrait
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following, submitted June 2005, is from the artist.|
I am a painter in the Expressionist tradition. My subject matter relates to the human condition and is intended to be symbolic, ambiguous and metaphorical. I have worked in my Brookline, MA studio for twenty-three years, since moving from New York and Atlanta, GA.
I was born and grew up in the small Southern town of Rome, Georgia. Beating rhythms and shadow puppets on window shades at night from Holy Rollers who lived across the street was the ART I knew and the link to the art I do today. William Faulkner said the only thing worth writing about is the heart in conflict with itself. My father's pawnshop, my mother's garden, the black women who raised me and the prejudices of a closed society is the stuff of which my art is made.
My struggle to be accepted took many turns. After graduating from the (as it was then called) High Museum School of Art (BFA), I became a commercial artist and teacher to sustain my personal work. Prior to receiving an MFA from Pratt Institute I studied with a former Hans Hofmann student in Atlanta. In Georgia I taught at the Atlanta College of Art and Georgia State University. Through a National Educational Television program I visited classrooms in the inner city schools of Atlanta where I worked with the children and drew their portraits in charcoal. At the same time I won Gold and Silver Medal Awards from the Southeastern Art Directors' Club. During this period I exhibited in Southeastern Annual Painting Exhibitions and the Atlanta Arts Festivals (First Purchase Award). In 1962 I was given a solo exhibition at the High Museum of Art.
I began my career as a commercial artist (Art Director, Montag, Inc.) but later found my 'vision' in Abstract Expressionism. My work is embedded in the rawness of a Southern childhood. In addition to my Southern roots, the important things that have influenced my present career as a painter were psychoanalysis in Atlanta, living in New York City, marriage and the birth of two children.
In the summer of 1976, I was a participant in Howard Gardner's Project Zero on Creativity at Harvard University. In 1982 I received a Finalist Award in Painting from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. In 1983 I was a Fellow and Finalist in Drawing and Painting, 1994-95, a Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute. In 1996-97 I received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Painting and completed the proposed project: Pawnshop, based on my father's store in Rome, Georgia.
My career has taken many turns. Even in our technological age, I still feel painting and that which transcends the visible holds a basic place in our human existence.
Richard Florsheim Art Fund - Purchase Grant
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation - Fellow in Painting
The Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College - Fellow in Painting
The Massachusetts Cultural Council - Project Completion Awar;
The Massachusetts Cultural Council - Fellow in Drawing, Finalist in Painting (2)
Art in the Embassies Program;
Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA;
Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA;
Brenau College, Gainsville, GA;
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, GA (Solo);
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (Solo);
Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA;
DeCordova Museum of Art, Lincoln, MA;
Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA;
Fuller Museum, of Art, Brockton, MA;
Lesley College (Solo), Cambridge, MA;
Harvard University, Baker Library (Solo), Allston, MA;
Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN;
Montserrat College of Art (Solo), Beverly, MA;
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Solo), Cambridge, MA;
Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI;
New York University (Solo), New York, NY;
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA;
School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA;
Telfair Museum of Art (Solo), Savannah, GA;
Trustman Art Gallery (Solo), Simmons College, Boston, MA;
Unitarian-Universalist Gallery (Solo), Atlanta, GA;
University of Georgia, Athens, GA;
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Solo), North Dartmouth, MA;
William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta (Solo), GA;
Yeshiva University Museum (Solo), New York, NY;
A 2005 art commission for Delta Terminal A, Logan International Airport, Boston, MA has recently been installed.
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