Greg and I are pleased to have the artwork of Ian Summers as our first solo exhibition. The show features a distinctive and varied selection of Ian's Faces Series, begun in 2000 and continues into the present. The exhibition surveys his prolific and obsessive investigation of human heads and faces; inspired from history and classicism, personal narratives, relationships, dreams, memories, conjured and imagined forms, the 2000 US Census, 9/11, as well as high school yearbooks. The impetus for his works are toward celebrating humanity and relationships, negotiating time and loss, and measuring past and present experiences through the evolution of subjective memory and identity. His two dimensional works range in scale and media, rendered on everything from small, paper index cards up through large scale diptychs on construction tar paper.
A view of the Gallery with (left to right) "First Dead #2 - 9/11 Series", "First Dead #1 - 9/11 Series", "Lambertville Road - Census Series", "Huddled Masses #1 - 9/11 Series"
Faces Exhibition Statement
"I am for an art of memories that are chipped and fragmented, but not nostalgia. Life lived gathering experiences and images that are searching for meaning and connections. Faces conjured forming associations with persons living and dead; with persons who may never have lived anywhere but in my mind. I am for faces buried for fifty years or more and guessing how I know them. They haunt me in sleep and occupy my waking hours.
I am for seas of people on the streets of New York. I am for remembering everyone I have ever met and inviting them to a party in Central Park guessing who they have become. I am for rags and bones of my childhood - encountering legends and myths from the moment I broke my first Crayola to my last drip of enamel paint splashing on my sandals and peeling it from my toes like nail polish. I am for spontaneity and mistakes. I am for not knowing where I am going. I listen to the calling. I may resist, yet the pull is so great I go there anyway.
I am for an art on tar paper that bleeds and bubbles and smells and ghosts and is as unpredictable as life itself.
I am for work that responds to life. I once spent three months - mesmerized - in front of a television set watching the aftermath of 9/11. Faces flashed for nanoseconds. I tried to paint everyone of them. Gestures. Expressions. Pundits. Soldiers. Politicians. Anyone. Even the actors making random appearances on disconnected commercials. Working faster. Faster. At record speed. Over one thousand monotypes made from thousands of plates, none larger than an index card, congregating making triptychs nine feet wide.
Faces, painted in the nineties, recalled from Biblical stories about that dysfunctional family starting in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve. Cain and Abel. Abraham, Sara, Issac, and Esau to name a few.
Faces. More Faces. I am for an art commencing from high school yearbooks. I am for painting seventeen year old high school students who are now in their sixties. I am for emailing people who have not heard from me - their art teacher - finding them on the Internet, and sending them jpegs of paintings. I hope they make it to this show."
Ian Summers, 2008
Here are some of the faces:
On the right wall: Phi Delta Rho Sorority, acrylic mixed media on stretched canvas, 2008
with R.A. Miller's Blow Oskar to the left of them
On the left wall: 9/11 Faces, framed 5 to 9 up, mixed media on card, 2001
Everyday as I sit here in the gallery, surrounded by all of these faces, I find someone new to contemplate, imagining their story which sometimes meshes with my own. When I come in each day, I am greeted by faces who have become friends. We are both thrilled to have all of these faces here and we will miss them when they are gone.
Visit www.iansummersartwork.com to view more of Ian's Faces series.
If you missed the opening reception on June 14th, Bruce Byers took some great photos which can be seen at www.brucebyers.com.
While on his website, please check out his portfolio and the projects
he's been working on which are a wonderful celebration of humanity.
We are extending the show through the second week of August.