Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Deanna Leamon & H. Brown Thornton: March 9-20, 2007

For its March exhibition at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia, S.C., if ART, International Fine Art Services, presents solo exhibitions by Deanna Leamon and H. Brown Thornton. Leamon will exhibit mixed media works on paper. Thornton will show mixed media paintings. Both artists are represented by Columbia’s if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., (803) 238-2351.

Leamon is a professor at the University of South Carolina art department. Her graphite-driven works on paper have received great critical acclaim. Leamon only sporadically shows in Columbia, and this show will be her first local solo exhibition in a commercial gallery. Leamon’s work was in “Thresholds: Expressions of Art & Spiritual Life.” The exhibition was curated by New York art critic Eleanor Heartney and traveled throughout the Southeast from 2004–2006. Leamon also was in “The Felt Moment,” a 2003 show of contemporary art from the Carolinas at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Aiken native and resident Brown Thornton also was in “The Felt Moment.” Thornton received his BFA from the University of South Carolina art department in 1999. From 2001–2005 he lived and worked in Chicago, where he shows with the Linda Warren Gallery. The realization that the South was a significant aspect of his work – and the fear of another cold Chicago winter – made Thornton decide to move back to Aiken, where he lives and works in a warehouse studio.

“I want my work to constantly emphasize the temporal, passing moment,” Thornton says of his abstract acrylic paintings with representative elements. “This can be something that just happened or something that happened long ago and only remains as fragments made up of memories or photographs. I think I am defined more so by a collection of constantly passing events, both present and past, than most anything else. I often place the whale skeletons on dry land, emphasizing that this land was not dry at one point and may one day be under water again.”

The impetus for Leamon’s current work is the war in Iraq, she says, “especially those aspects of that war that our government doesn’t want us to see, such as Iraqi casualties. This work continues my concern with individual human suffering as a consequence of large bureaucratic exercises of power. I continue to explore new ways to extend drawing and to make the drawing medium serve the artistic message.”

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