Internationally Acclaimed Abstract Painters Come to 2731 Prospect

click to enlarge Internationally Acclaimed Abstract Painters Come to  2731 Prospect
Alan Crockett, cross-talk , 42 in. x 62 in., flashe/acrylic on canvas
2731 Prospect’s latest exhibitions bring two accomplished abstract painters to Cleveland this weekend via Alan Crockett’s Looney Tunes and Ian Hagarty’s Temperature Reset. Both exhibitions open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 12. At 2 p.m. the following day, Saturday, Feb. 13, both artists will participate in a gallery talk, discussing their work and creative processes.

“Both Crockett and Hagarty are connected by their commitment to abstract painting, although of different generations," says 2731 Prospect director Lauren Davies. "Crockett’s work has an energetic drawing quality paired with large blocks of color that link his abstract sensibilities to Philip Guston, while Hagarty’s luminously colored works feel connected to Geometric Abstraction.”

Alan Crockett is Emeritus Faculty at The Ohio State University. In addition to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation, he has received multiple awards from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Art Council. In 2013, Crockett received a Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Fellowship and moved to New York City. He currently divides his time between New York and Columbus. In addition to numerous galleries in Ohio (including Heights Arts and SPACES in Cleveland), Crockett’s work has been exhibited in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, West Virginia, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Louisiana, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, Toronto, Holland, Germany, India and more.

His large, colorful paintings allude to his creative process through his utilization of spontaneous, gestural lines and dynamic fields of colors. The result is something between the traditional definitions of drawing and painting.

“The paintings proceed by shifting between accidental incident and deliberate delineation,” says Crockett. “Lines dance, pierce, trace and interrupt, inviting play and exploration while revealing the process of the painting’s making and forming a symbiotic relationship between drawing and painting. The colors, marks, shapes, erasures that ensue mark time, map or excavate space; they record and reflect the body’s presence/absence as tracings of what has been made, unmade and remade.”

click to enlarge Internationally Acclaimed Abstract Painters Come to  2731 Prospect
Ian Hagarty, "Turning Through," 53 in. x 40 in., acrylic on canvas
His exhibition’s title, Looney Tunes, refers to the cartoons and comic strips that Crockett draws inspiration from.

“I make abstract paintings that generate ‘abstract experience’: a real and unique experience that is known, that is meant but is, in the end, ineffable,” Crockett explains. “My work explores the zany spirit and pallet of newspaper ‘funnies’ as well as the challenges of abstract painting. They lead me on a journey that allows for the discovery of the narrative possibilities of mark making. Funnies and abstraction are reconciled to create new relations between gesture and image, illusion and abstraction. They are playful, colorful, full of psychic spills, halts, breaks and image scuffles resulting in a constant exchange and circulation of elements, none of which is absolutely definable. I bring the work to a state of ‘pre-figuration’: perhaps a place that allows for memory or sensation without being specific memory or sensation.”

Ian Hagarty is currently an associate professor at Marshall University, School of Art & Design – College of Arts & Media in Huntington, W. Va. He earned his MFA from Indiana University and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA); after receiving a BFA from MICA in 2003. His work has been exhibited in Cleveland, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and internationally in Italy and Spain. He is represented in Italy by Montoro 12 Contemporary Art. In 2015, he was an Artist-in-Residence at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy.

Hagarty’s compositions appear fractured due to his use of line, shape and color. Although his fields of color may seem flat, Hagarty rewards active viewers with subtle illusions of depth hidden within. While the works don’t depict any obvious, representational imagery, the compositions have a three-dimensionality that triggers our own imagination to fill in the gaps.

“Although the work may not be described as minimal, it is based on a reductive motif by and large,” Hagarty explains. “I am interested in the possibilities of how color, reduction, material manipulation and a kind of repetition can maybe transpose the near-inevitable associative capabilities of abstraction. Flatness opens into interior space while surfaces collapse, expand and remain plastic. This interchange fractures the painting process forcing the work to become fragmented in layers that bury and reveal. This duality is a way to reflect on, invent and describe current perceptions of lived and imagined experiences. I would describe the underlying concept for the works as being related to questions of inseparable simultaneity rather than resolution.”

Both exhibitions remain on view through Mar. 19.

(2731 Prospect) 2731 Prospect Ave., 888-273-1881,

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