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 Vonn Cummings Sumner  (1976 - )

About: Vonn Cummings Sumner


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Lived/Active: California/New York      Known for: painting

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Ad Code: 4
Vonn Sumner "Totem"
13"x11" watercolor on paper

Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Vonn Cummings Sumner grew up in Northern California, the son of a picture framer in a family of artists.  He attended the University of California at Davis, earning both a bachelor's degree in art and an MFA in painting.  While at Davis he worked closely with Wayne Thiebaud, Mike Henderson, and David Hollowell, among others.

Upon graduating, Vonn moved to New York where he painted and worked for galleries and museums, including the Guggenheim Museum.  The community of artists Vonn found there, as well as frequent trips to the Metropolitan Museum, was very influential on his development as an artist recently out of school.

In the summer of 2002 Vonn moved to the Los Angeles area with his wife Jennifer and their dog Murietta.  He currently lives and works in Long Beach.  Throughout this period Vonn developed a highly idiosyncratic style of painting that is both recognizable and enigmatic.

Hand made props and hats populate his canvases creating a theater of the absurd... all juxtaposed with the cool emotional distance of the subject pressed into the forefront of the painting. 

Vonn has exhibited regularly since 1997, he has shown his work nationally and internationally. In 2003 he was a featured solo artist at the Scope Art Fair in Los Angeles and since then his work is part of significant private international collections. He is a founding member of "Pharmaka," an eclectic group of Los Angeles based painters who, in 2005, built and opened a non-profit exhibition space in downtown L.A. devoted to the advancement of contemporary painting.

Submitted by: Adam Beck

Biography from Morton Fine Art:

American, b. 1976, Palo Alto, CA.

2000 Master of Fine Arts, University of California, Davis
1998 Bachelor of Arts, Art Studio, University of California, Davis


2011 Solo Exhibition, Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC (upcoming)
2011 Solo Exhibition, Phillips Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA (upcoming)
2010 Recent Paintings, Paul Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2008 The Other Side of Here, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
2007 Secret Society, Bert Green Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Arrival, 50 California St., San Francisco, CA
2006 Out To Sea, Stevenson Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY
1998 Paintings, Northern California Center for the Arts, Grass Valley, CA
Still Life, Tahoe Tallac Association, South Lake Tahoe, CA


2010 I Dream Awake, curated by Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art & *a pop-up project, Washington, DC
2010 Contemporary Art from the Douglas Nielsen Collection,
Tucson Art Museum, Tucson, AZ
2009 Fresh, auction for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Self-Portraits in the Age of My-Face-Space-Book, curated by Matt Gleason, I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Twenty-Five Treasures, Paul Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Modern Day Characters, J. Flynn Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA
Venice Art Walk, Venice, CA.
Faculty Show, Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA
2007 Bridge Art Fair, London, UK
Then/Now, Pharmaka, Los Angeles, CA
Oceana, Exhibition/Auction to benefit Oceana Society, S.F., CA
2006 Introductions, Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Portraits, Pharmaka, Los Angeles, CA
Figure/Form, Coastline College, Costa Mesa, CA
The Peaceable Kingdom, Kortman Center for Design, Rockford, IL
Summer Survey, Lawrence Asher Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Faculty Exhibition, Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA
Fountain Art Fair, Miami, FL
Art International, Los Angeles (Santa Monica/Barker Hanger), CA
2005 Incognito, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, CA
!All California!, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
Venice to Venice, V & A Gallery, Venice, Italy
-Scope Hamptons, Southhampton, NY
Pharmaka: Inside the Box, Bert Green Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Pharmaka: Outside the Box, Pharmaka, Los Angeles, CA
(LA Weekly pick of the week)
2004 The OsCene, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
Dualities, Lewallen Contemporary, Sante Fe, NM
Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA
Artposition 04, Murten-Morat, Switzerland
IGNITE! (Gen Art), Los Angeles, CA
-Scope Los Angeles, The Standard, Hollywood, CA
Form, Fragments and Folly, Seven Degrees, Laguna Beach, CA
Pharmaka, (three concurrent exhibitions) Bedlam Art, (Los Feliz)
Corridor Gallery (Hollywood), Bedlam Warehouse, Los Angeles, CA
2003 -Scope Miami, Miami Beach, FL
21, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
-Scope Los Angeles, The Standard, Los Angeles, CA
First Annual Invitational, Square Blue Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA
Brush, The Office, Huntington Beach, CA
Valentine’s Exhibition, Nelson Gallery, U.C. Davis
2002 Texas Artist's Museum, Port Arthur, TX
An American Experience, Associated Artists,Winston-Salem NC
2000 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Nelson Gallery, U.C. Davis
Blind Date, Worth-Ryder Gallery, University of California, Berkeley
1999 Miniatures, Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa, CA
Blind Date, Manchester Metropolitan University, England, UK
1998 Crocker-Kingsley, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA


2008 Inland Empire Weekly, Volume 3, Issue 29, p.13, October, 2008,
The Other Side of Here (exhibition catalog), Riverside Art Museum
Twenty-Five Treasures (exhibition catalog), Paul Thiebaud Gallery
Riviera, April issue, p.42
2007 Art Ltd., Artist Profile, March issue, p.72
2006 Quickfiction, (Cover Image), Issue 9, 2006
Trendsetter, No.46, Volume 4, artist profile and interview, p.54-57
Blade Magazine, March, p. 24
2005 LA Weekly, Pick of the Week, April 22-28, p.56
Lifescapes, June/July, p.11-13 ISM, Fall Issue,
2004 BOOM Magazine, Issue 7, Spring (Cover image), and p.17-18
ISM, Volume 1, Spring
2003 NY Arts Magazine, November/December, Volume 8, Number 11, p.57
2002 New American Paintings, # 43, Pacific Coast Edition
2002 Winston-Salem Journal, Sunday November 10, p. F4


2003 Curator’s Choice Award, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
2002 American Experience Show Award, Hanes Art Gallery/Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
1999-2000U.C. Davis Graduate Study Fellowship
1998 Purchase Award, Buehler Alumni Center, U.C. Davis
1997 John and Terry Kubota Scholarship, U.C. Davis

Branner Hall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
University Circle, East Palo Alto, CA
Stanford Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto, CA
Shields Main Library Collection, University of California, Davis
University of California, Davis Buehler Alumni Center

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