Opening: Wednesday, June 1 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
The Verizon Gallery at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center announces the exhibition Color Chords: Vibrations of the Washington Color School opening on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. A public reception featuring local experimental musician Ted Zook on June 1 from 6:30-8:30 pm will also present an opportunity to meet and talk with the artists, and to look at a discovery station where one can become acquainted with the history of the Washington Color School movement. The exhibition will remain on view through July 10, 2016.
It is no coincidence that parallels can loosely be drawn between each of these artists and those of the Washington Color School. Although none of those exhibiting here today are strictly neo post-expressionist color field artists, Barbara Januszkiewicz whose work touches upon and ultimately deviates from that of Morris Louis was challenged several years ago by the last surviving WashingtonColor School artist Paul Reed—now recently deceased—to paint on canvas rather than paper.
And it is Januszkiewicz who came up with the idea for Color Chords. As Curator of the exhibition, and also one of the five exhibiting artists here, her work is deeply influenced by music: “I see a fusion of music and art, a real paradox of same-yet-different. This is not about just one note,” she says. “There is an under-riding score playing in exchanges like the hardness of the key of C# major and the softness of Db major—capturing, reflecting, and improvising.” It is understandable then that she saw a certain visually euphonious connection; just as separate notes played together create a chord so do these artists’ works, although very different, harmonize well with one another.
Januszkiewicz chose each of these artists for their distinctive voices as well as for their complex understanding of color harmony. In the exhibition, each pigmented tone takes a moment to scat across the canvas—alternately forming the strident pixilated blocks of Jeremy Flick and the softer washes of Januszkiewicz, blooming into translucent skins that glance back across the lush layers of Matthew Grimes and through the ephemeral swaths of Bill Hill, and ultimately coming to rest upon the playful whimsy of Andrew Hudson’s figural works and the more abstract nature of his great bleeding blots.
This exhibition is part of a community outreach program by Januszkiewicz who not only wants to educate the general public on the real history behind the Washington Color School, but also wants to prove that there is still significant artistic genius in DC. Januszkiewicz wants to recognize these artists, and it is her aim to build awareness through a series of exhibitions, of which this is the first, throughout the greater metropolitan area.
JEREMY FLICK is a Washington, DC based arts administrator, artist, and educator. He received his BFA from the University of Cincinnati and his MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is currently the Membership Director of Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), and also serves as Adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Department at Montgomery College. As a practicing artist his works are included in numerous private and academic collections, and he has exhibited extensively throughout the region and also in New York City, Florida, and New Mexico.
MATTHEW GRIMES is a studio ceramist, and a two and three-dimensional mixed media collage artist. He obtained his BFA in Ceramics from James Madison University, and also apprenticed with a studio potter outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. Later, he lived and worked for six months in Imbe, Bizen, Japan, in the studio of Japanese National Treasure, Isezaki Jun. He has taught at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design (now George Washington University) since 2007, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally—his most recent exhibition with Galeria VALA in Santiago, Chile. His work is held in private collections in both the US and Chile.
BILL HILL has been a practicing artist in DC for decades. With a BFA in Painting from Carnegie Mellon University, Hill came to DC in the early 1980s. In 1984 Hill offered a helping hand to artist friends Sam Gilliam and Gene Davis. This experience evolved into the creation of his company HMB Art Transfer. Hill has been exhibiting widely in the area since 1986, and has had both national and international shows in New York City, Atlanta, Turkey, and throughout Europe. His work is held in numerous private and corporate collections.
ANDREW HUDSON is an artist, writer, art historian, educator and art critic based in Washington, DC. Originally from Birmingham, England, he is the son of a well-known British metallurgist and is the great-great-grandson of the early 19th century miniature painter William Hudson. He earned a BA in English Language and Literature from Oxford University, and also studied art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. In 1962, he met New York art critic Clement Greenberg who acted as a mentor to Hudson and encouraged his writing which had begun to appear in Canadian and international publications. In 1965, Hudson worked as an art critic for the Washington Post and reviewed the pivotal exhibition of the Washington Color School artists showing at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art where he later became the Curator of Education. He has taught at both the University of Saskatchewan and at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design (now George Washington University). It is here that he founded the Department of Academic Studies in 1970. Hudson is now retired, but continues to write and exhibit his work. He has had both national and international solo exhibitions in DC, New York, Los Angeles, Germany, Austria, and Canada. His work is held in public collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and in numerous private collections.
BARBARA JANUSZKIEWICZ is an artist, educator, and filmmaker based in the Washington, DC area. Januszkiewicz attained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Jacksonville where she studied under the Chinese watercolor master Mun Quan. Later, Januszkiewicz also worked with color field artist Hilda Thorpe who acted as both mentor and friend. Januszkiewicz was an Adjunct Professor at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design (now George Washington University), and currently teaches at McLean Project for the Arts. She has worked closely with musicians Matthew Shipp and David Leibman on projects that connect the act of painting with jazz. She has also produced numerous films including most recently an avant-garde collaboration with Matthew Shipp entitled The Composer and her up and coming documentary piece Unprimed Canvas which is set to be released in 2017. Januszkiewicz has exhibited broadly throughout the region, and both nationally and internationally in Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, London and Paris among other metropolitan areas. Her work is held in private, corporate, and government collections.
- Monday – Friday: 10am to 5pm
- The gallery also serves as a theater lobby and is open during performances.
For further information, an exhibition website features more in-depth content including an online catalogue, images of the artwork, essays and interviews. You can view the website at colorchordsdc.wix.com/nova.
The Verizon Gallery at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center is located at 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA.