Exhibition Dates: December 6, 2019 - January 11, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, December 6, 5-8 pm
Location: KSU Downtown Gallery, 141 E. Main St., Kent. Ohio
Kindred is a solo exhibition by Kent State University School of Art faculty member Shawn Powell. For this exhibition, Powell will be presenting paintings made over the past six years, spanning six different bodies of work. Powell’s work utilizes many different painting strategies: hard-edge abstraction, from his time studying with members of the Hunter Color School; Pop art, a style he learned while working as a commercial painter; narrative imagery, cultivated by his use of writing in conjunction to his painting practice; along with mood, composition, and ambiguity absorbed through his love for film.
In conjunction with his own work, he has scoured the Kent State University collection and has chosen numerous artworks to accompany his own paintings. Works by Julian Stanczak, Emma Amos, Andy Warhol, Kitagawa Fujimaro, Käthe Kollwitz, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Fran Bull, Joe Goode, Elena Evan, Tom Wesselmann, and Larry Zox among others will be paired with Powell’s work. Although his works may not have been made with these artists in mind, there is a kindred spirit - as the title of the exhibition alludes to - between the works in this exhibition. The pictures chosen share images and motifs, carry a common conceptual weight, employ similar techniques, or are akin in mood and atmosphere. This exhibition is part homage and part an investigation of the cyclical nature of artmaking.
Powell joined Kent State as a professor in Painting and Drawing last fall. Prior to this, he lived and worked in New York for over a decade where he was an adjunct professor at Hunter College, City University of New York and Westchester Community College, State University of New York.
About the Artist: Shawn Powell (b. Missouri, 1978) has presented solo exhibitions at 106 Green, Brooklyn, NY; Chapter, New York, NY; and Webster University, St. Louis, MO. He has been included in group exhibitions at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Nina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo NY; and La Esquina, Kansas City, MO. His work has been featured in Brooklyn Magazine, Bedford and Bowery, Art F City, Hyperallergic, Forma, the CAN Journal, and he was recently interviewed for Juxtapoz Magazine. In 2018, he was also added to the White Columns’ Curated Artist Registry. He received his BFA in Painting and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA in Painting from Hunter College where he was presented a Tony Smith Award Grant. Powell is an Assistant Professor in Painting at Kent State University.
Image: (left) Shawn Powell, Beach Umbrella, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 30-inch diameter and (right) Kitagawa Fujimaro, Woman in Snow, Color woodblock, 17 x 8 inches.