John Alexander Steele
Chicago/Washington” showcases the work of mid-century artist and premier art restorer, John Alexander Steele during two significant periods of artistic exploration. One was during his time at the Art Institute of Chicago where he created anthropological works of sculpture-like paintings inspired by the artist, Paul Klee. The other was Steele’s abstract study of color and form during his time with the Washington Color School.
Klee reinforced John's devotion to the natural world and perhaps inspired John’s series of works on frogs, birds, owls, and sometimes imaginary creatures.In the 1960s John devoted most of his time to abstract painting, energized by the work of a group known as the Washington Color Painters. These artists exhibited at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, which in 1965 held the historic exhibition, “Washington Color Painters.” Stimulated by these creative minds—and informed by the technical information they provided—John continued to explore various techniques, always making careful studies before completing his finished paintings.
For over thirty years, I have sought to explore the nuances of material and form through sculpture. With wood as a primary medium, I meticulously cut, layer and join hundreds – sometimes thousands – of wood blocks to create forms that reference environments and resonate with the human spirit. Extending life and recycling of discarded materials have been the frequent themes.
While most of my works displayed in this region are in public settings, such as the Smithsonian Garden in the National Mall, 19th street in DC and Oakland Park in Arlington, Fred Schnider Gallery of Art has selected a group of work from 2000- 2016 that have not been exhibited in this region. Works range from wood stacked constructions, small abstract forms, scale models and experimental works with cast metals, wax, rice and sawdust. Work on papers include a variety of media.
I was a resident artist in Arlington Arts Center when Kathy Freshley was the Executive Director, who gave me tremendous support throughout my art career. I would like to dedicate this exhibition to both Jerry and Kathy Freshley, who are both my collectors and very good friends. - Foon Sham
Scott Hutchison’s artwork is multifaceted, abstracted, and appears to be in motion – not just physically, but psychologically as well – evoking the idea that our identity is also in flux. Though we are singular beings, our psyche is not. We are molded in part by time and our life experiences. The people in Scott’s work personify strength and frailty of consciousness and the depths to which we experience the human condition. The figures are displaced, out of sync like ghosts or layered memories, both timeless and self-aware.
Scott’s work can be seen as a journal entry, the manifestation of a deep concern for place and purpose in this world. He reassigns faces and body parts through a mixture of trial and error, coupled with random chance and the need to create something from nothing. During this process, Scott is seeking answers to a larger question: Who or what defines us as an individual? Are we here by accident, or is there a greater purpose, or are we just a product of our culture and our experiences? His art is meant to tug at the viewer and suggest that there may be more to this material world. Each piece is intentionally shrouded in mystery, letting the viewer interpret its multitude of meanings.
Memory, the unconscious, and spatial experience of our shared concrete and cultural environments all contribute to the evolution of Chee-Keong Kung’s work. Kung believes images can trigger reverberations at different depths within our psyche, recalling memories from years ago or fresh episodes from a week ago. Recurring motifs such as cloud shapes can suggest wafting smoke as well as uncontainable astronomical events. Respectively, they conjure in Kung’s mind Taoist burnt offerings and torrential tropical storms from his upbringing in Singapore. Impressions from the media milieu—magazine ads, news photos, comic books, other artists’ works etc. — are transmuted into specific color combinations and geometric relationships on the canvas.
“The finished work is not so much a goal, but rather a pictorial accumulation of intention, curiosity and happenstance. Very often, the most satisfying pieces are those that end up in entirely unexpected places. Part of the allure of painting is finding places that I do not already know…”
- Chee-Keong Kung
I photographed this body of work in Arles France in the Spring of 2018. It is where I departed from the more photojournalistic way of capturing moments objectively and from a neutral point of view. Instead I explored my painful memories deeply, uncovering raw emotions that seemed to bring forth more questions than answers. This has led to a freer approach to the way that I photograph. It has now become a personal journey where I have a strong point of view. I am figuratively and literally in my photographs. When I don’t feel a little afraid of what I will uncover, I know the images are probably not going to work.
I walked the streets of Arles as both an archaeologist and a psychologist. I was constantly investigating, uncovering and searching from the past, but at the same time aware of my emotions and feelings at every turn of the cobblestoned streets. With every press of the shutter I would feel deeply, experimenting, getting closer to my subjects and myself. Once that intimate connection was formed then I would adjust to those places inside me that I feared not long ago.
We tend to see memories as what happened in the past. For me, Anamnesis is a way that the events of the past are made present again.
A Retrospective (1947-2008)
Allen "Big Al" Carter
“Big Al” Carter created works of art that have truly immortalized his essence. His vibrant personality shown through in his use of bold colors, fluid brushstrokes and his signature
“controlled drips.” Many of his paintings were portraits reflecting African American society and how people relate within it. “I paint poor and rich people and their relationships in this society. I paint the hungry, the homeless, war veterans, children, the powerful and the powerless. I depict pain, joy, contradictions, hope and despair.”
A Washington, DC area native, Carter attributes much of his formal artistic growth to his schooling in Arlington, particularly his art program at Wakefield High School. Aside from his time completing a BFA and receiving an honorary MFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, Carter dedicated much of his life to teaching art in the local communities and continuing to build his own collection.
Santa Fe & Jazz
Within each of Judy Bass’s multi-media collages and paintings one can see the influence of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It prevails in all her creative work through a palette of colors depicting the landscape, mountains and brilliant sunsets she has taken in each year she visits. Interwoven in this Southwestern theme are elements representative of Bass’s love of jazz, another major influence in her artwork.
“Like an improvisational jazz musician, I work spontaneously, playing with space and seeking new ways to experiment with color and texture. I am always seeking new solutions to reach a satisfactory composition, remembering that what is not there is as important as what is there.”
– Judy Bass
The Nature Of Things
Marc's work exists at the intersection of art, biology, metaphysics, and response to the natural world. The small artworks echo the intimate scale and brief fruiting period of many species. The large artworks allude to the greater scope of history and scale in which humanity exists.
An abstract impressionist that lives locally in McLean, Virginia, Roya uses a broad mix of media to create truly breathtaking works with vivid color and lively textures at their core. She has worked extensively with interior designers to produce custom pieces and has designed specialty products for companies, such as Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table and Martha Stewart.
By photographing, blending and stitching multiple exposures of a scene together into a seamless composition, an interesting passage of time and space is portrayed within the still image confine.
Out of My Mind
David Carlson’s Fields and Transformation series is about process and the contemplative state that is developed from the artist and the viewer. The varying methods of scraping, brushing, and sanding are applied until the painting is completed.