Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Presents
The exhibit includes rare paintings never exhibited in public before.
“He explored the mysteries of nature and drew from her multiple patterns his own individual poetry of color and movement.”
—A. Everett Austin, Jr., former director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
“Syd Solomon connects his hand and paintbrush to the deeper, quieter, more mysterious parts of his mind—and he paints pictures of what he sees and feels down there.”
— Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
(Sarasota, FL) Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery presents works by Syd Solomon, January 5-28. Curated by Mark Ormond, this exhibit features 24 paintings dating from 1976 to 1990. Some are rare works that have never been exhibited in public before. Mike Solomon, the artist’s son, will speak at the opening reception, Friday, January 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The gallery is at 1288 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. For more information about this exhibit, call 941-366-2454 or visit www.allyngallup.com.
According to Ormond, Solomon’s paintings reveal a cosmopolitan sensibility and a profoundly educated eye. “During World War II, Syd Solomon traveled and saw much in Europe,” he says. “After the war, he decided to remain in Paris. That gave him the opportunity, not only to see the art of great museums, but also to join the tradition of American artists studying European masters. Solomon studied at the L’École des Beaux Arts in Paris. He couldn’t have predicted that, in less than a decade, he’d be immersed in the new center of the art world—New York City.”
Ormond adds that Solomon was both a keen observer and a brilliant inventor. “During the organized chaos of World War II, Solomon became an innovator in the art of aerial camouflage,” he says. “During peacetime, he gravitated to the purity and essence of nature. The paintings of this show reflect that fascination.”
Solomon helped the war effort by camouflaging ground-based assets from Axis bombardiers with spray painting and masking techniques. After the war, he applied his innovations to the intricate forms of his aerosol enamel and acrylic paintings. While not representational, these works captured the essence of land, sky and sea.
In many of these paintings, the inspiration for the artist’s organic forms came from the west coast region of Florida. Because Solomon suffered frostbite during the Battle of the Bulge, he couldn’t live in cold climates. He and his wife Annie decide to settle in Sarasota, after the war.
Solomon’s meditations on the elements of nature are no less than breathtaking. The results are plain to see in this exhibit.
His architectonic “Big Pass” was showcased in the historic Syd Solomon retrospective, which opened at the New York Cultural Center in 1974 and traveled to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in 1975. His precise delineation of shapes and colors evokes nature’s underlying order. “Cove Light” is a pastel puzzle box of right-angled linearity and nature’s fractal chaos. The calligraphic swirls of “Manasota Key” suggest the fragile barrier islands holding out against the relentless currents of the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s hard to put Solomon’s artistic accomplishments into words. His friend, the author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., came very close in 1975.
“Here, in simple English, is what Syd Solomon does: He meditates. He connects his hand and paintbrush to the deeper, quieter, more mysterious parts of his mind—and he paints pictures of what he sees and feels down there.”
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art was established in 1991. Since then, the gallery has earned the reputation as the leading place in southwest Florida to view contemporary art. The gallery’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, mixed-media assemblages, works on paper and prints by mid-career artists with well-established exhibition records. The gallery also occasionally showcases works by promising emerging artists. Visit www.allyngallup.com.