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John Cole: Cubist Thinking

Lisa Harris Gallery
Seattle WA – October 6-31, 2011

John Cole, Genesis #8

John Cole, Genesis #8 (1995), oil on linen [Lisa Harris Gallery, Seattle WA, Oct 6-31]

Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo, Raising La Mama Grande

John Cole, Tijeras Canyon NM (1991), oil on paper [Lisa Harris Gallery, Seattle WA, Oct 6-31]

In his lifetime, Washington artist John Cole (1936-2007) was an avid outdoorsman. Much of his work is dominated by the thematic presence of canyons, mountains and countryside painted in bold and vivid interpretations influenced by Impressionism and Fauvism.

Cubist Thinking examines Cole’s interest in Cubism and the influence that Cubist methods had on his work over the years. Assembled by the Lisa Harris Gallery, the exhibition includes highly-abstracted still life scenes of objects in his studio. The compositions of the early still life studies reveal his experiments with multiple viewpoints. The approach is similar to that used by Cézanne for his tabletop paintings.

Later works include unique renditions of scenery in the American Southwest, with canyons and mountains reduced to their essential geometric facets and forms. Paintings from Cole’s Genesis series illustrate his early modernist sensibilities, where simplified human forms reminiscent of Matisse’s collages interact with energetic abstracted landscapes.

John Cole was born in London and lived blocks from the Tate Gallery where he was first exposed to Cubism. His family survived German bombing raids during WWII. After the war Cole was granted a scholarship to the Royal Academy but was unable to attend as his family emigrated to the United States when he was fifteen. Cole began experimenting with modernist abstraction while attending New York’s Pratt Institute during the 1950s.

www.lisaharrisgallery.com

Allyn Cantor


 Sun, Sep 4, 2011