Martin John Garhart: Seen and Said
January 27 – May 7, 2017
Reception / Artist Talk: Thursday, April 6, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
A contemporary American painter and printmaker, Martin John Garhart received a B.A. from South Dakota State University (1969), M.A. from West Virginia University (1970), and M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University (1972). He has served as Professor of Drawing, Painting and Printmaking at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, for more than 30 years.
Garhart maintains working studios in both Ohio and South Dakota. His art has been the subject of recent one-man exhibitions at such institutions as the Holter Museum of Art, the Sioux Falls Civic Art Center, West Virginia University Library, Southern Illinois University and the Butler Institute of American Art. Such institutions as the New York Public Library; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes, Colo.; the British Museum, London; and the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., include examples of his paintings and prints in their permanent collections.
“We live our lives in a confluence of our physical and mental worlds, one informing the other. They are separate worlds, one sensing the experience of now, the other considering and conjuring the whole of it. Sometimes their focus is similar, often it is not. They exist and are brought together in the self. I am interested in making work that reference this phenomenon. Each image is a collection of separate parts, mental considerations, physical perceptions, and verbal expressions, that are brought together by context and often the structure of the frame. They are about the intimate and complex relationships we have with ourselves, those we love, the places where we find ourselves, and the seeming randomness of the everyday things we find around us. They are like a fractured mirror with each segment reflecting a different view of the whole. What is reflected is brought together in the viewing.
Technically the paintings are my exploration of visual, and to a lesser extent verbal, language. They are a consideration of how dialogue conveys meaning through formal structure and narrative content. I am attempting to expand my use of visual expression by making each painting an inquiry into the merger of traditional and contemporary visual elements. I am working with the symbolic use of setting, time, and character, aesthetically gathered, to create content and beauty.” – Martin John Garhart
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