JOHN WOODROW KELLEY: PORTRAITS OF STONE
MARCH 16–APRIL 29, 2016
artist talk saturday april 2 @ 2:30pm
Eerdmans Fine Art is pleased to present Portraits of Stone, a series of new paintings by American artist John Woodrow Kelley.
Portraits of Stone continues Kelley’s bold exploration of the contemporary meaningfulness of the classical tradition. Each painting is a portrait of a renowned Ancient Greek or Roman sculpture, such as the Hellenistic bronze Boxer at Rest from the National Museum of Rome that "modeled" for the artist's Boxer.
Kelley’s interpretations, at times full of pathos and at times surreal, are informed by the lens of today and question mimesis, beauty, and humanism. The artist states, “The Greek myths embody everything that is timeless about the human experience. They reveal truths and acknowledge mysteries. They survive in the subconscious of western man to the point that to learn about them is to experience a shock of recognition.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
John Woodrow Kelley (Knoxville, Tennessee, 1952) earned degrees in art history and architecture from the University of Tennessee and Pratt Institute and studied at the Art Students League and New York Academy. He dates the beginning of his interest in classicism to age six when he first visited the world’s only full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon in Nashville. The proportions of the building, directly relating to those of the human body, and the plaster casts of Phidias inside representing the fifth-century B.C. Greek canon of beauty, spurred his lifelong ambition to express the classical tradition in his work.
Kelley has exhibited internationally, including a 2004 retrospective at the The Parthenon in Nashville and group shows at the John Pence Gallery, San Francisco; the Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY and Pandora Old Masters, Milan, Italy. He has received commissions from the Morgan Library, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Yale University. Greek Mythology Now, a monograph of the artist’s work, was recently published in 2014. He lives and works in New York City and Knoxville.