Talk: Saturday, May 18 from 10am to 11am
Retro/Recent: Works by Sidney Lawrence, an exhibition of more than 40 paintings, pen-and-ink drawings, mixed-media works and color graphics by this Washington-based artist, is on view from May 9 to June 23, 2019, at the Alcove Gallery of the University of California Washington Center, 1608 Rhode Island Ave, NW. Lawrence will give a free “Coffee Tour” of the exhibition Saturday, May 18, from 10 to 11 am.
Works in the show as early as 1972 include two ink skyscrapers, a Fauvist figure-study from art-history graduate-student days and, from the mid’1980s, an encrusted, 4 x 5 foot depiction of two tourists in Venice.
Among recent works are portraits and nature studies in acrylic commemorating summertime sojourns to Northern Denmark, the 2 by 3 foot hand-colored print, “Grand Tour,” inspired by a revelatory trip through Europe, and an ink vista of Catania, Sicily, with Mount Etna hovering above.
The family in “Lawrence Mourning Picture,” a 1983 mixed-media piece completed shortly after the artist’s father died, reappears in the 2019 “Adoration of the Chocolate Child,” only this time the artist is an infant, his sister a toddler, and his parents a young couple. A large can of Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate sits at the composition’s center, an allusion to the family business.
In his first major landscape painting, the 3-by-3 foot “Berkeley and Beyond,” Lawrence subverts Saul Steinberg’s famous New Yorker cover of the USA from Manhattan by showing an expansive—and selective—view east circa 1972. Berkeley’s Campanile tower dominates the scene.
Lawrence, who has art history degrees from U.C. Berkeley and Davis, moved to Washington DC in 1975 to begin a long-term career as the Hirshhorn Museum’s PR officer, producing art in his off-hours from the early 1980s on. He retired from the museum in 2003 and has continued creating and exhibiting art in Washington and elsewhere.
“The people, places, experiences and creative expressions we are drawn to while young remain equally powerful as the years pass,” says Lawrence, who was born and raised in San Francisco. “And why not? We are the same human beings throughout.”
UCDC’s “Alcove Gallery,” on the ground floor, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekend entry is by door buzzer. Admission is free for the exhibition’s entire six weeks.
Alcove Gallery of the University of California Washington Center is located at 1608 Rhode Island Ave, NW.