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work by artist John Humphries 
JANUARY 11 - FEBUARY 16, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, January 11 | 6-8 PM

Drawings have two dimensions. Or, could have three if we add depth to the plane: it is not impossible. Space has three dimensions. Or, could have four if we dared to add a story, a narrative, or memory: it is not impossible.

In order to convey a more complete image of a complex shifting situation the artist borrows from the Beaux-Arts tradition of analytique drawings which simultaneously included perspectival, orthographic, and conceptual images at various scales within the picture frame. These conceptually framed drawings contain a potential broader than things made to communicate design decisions. It is a mode which can consider intentions and attitudes, literal aspects and abstract thoughts, complexities and contradictions, fantasies and intricate relationships, along with fragmented notions. While the process of drawing can be both tangible and speculative, it is the speculative nature that can provide a significant contribution to the process of making. Without the firmness required of representing an object, one can investigate tectonic ideas of space, narrative, texture, order (and disorder), connection, human passage, and material. Through this ambiguity a drawing can transform a notion, idea, or concept and allow for one concept to connect to another. By embracing the conceptual nature of representation the author has begun to slowly develop a body of work which translates common objects from nature into a complex watercolor drawing to understand the elements which are kept and things lost in translation. The drawings utilize themes and organizational devices from landscapes, historical narratives, and built environments.

A recent series of watercolour drawings (Cloud Constellations, exhibited at The Cage Gallery, Ohio) focusing on clouds used the following process:

         The background layer (dots and lines) uses facial recognition and fingerprint
         identification technologies to generate points in the pattern of a cloud. The second
         layer consists of quick gestures capturing the profile of the clouds. Followed by
         watercolour and wooden elements depicting meteorologic data. The last, wool is used
         to represent (with whimsey) soft-fluffy clouds stitched to the other information. All
         interconnected into a constellation of clouds.

Perhaps an equivalent analogy of transformation might be of industrial food production, where nearly inedible field corn can become ethanol, xanthin gum, acoustical ceiling tiles, or chicken nuggets.

The artistic and nutritional values of these processes are yet to be evaluated by the FDA.

Images (Left to Right):
     John Humphries, The Cave of the Efreet and Prince
John Humphries, Cloud Constellation 009
John Humphries, The Efreet and Tied to the Blood

Originally from Texas pausing briefly on the Ozark Plateau and along the Puget Sound John Humphries feels the Miami Valley is a location for locking in roots. Having completed degrees in Architecture, and Fine Arts in Design, now Professor of Architecture and Interior Design at Miami University, following a brief foray as a saucier, John Humphries is a visual artist, gardener, and designer focusing on translating one media form to another. The creative work takes the
form of photo/watercolor constructions, carved wooden slabs, and automatic poems. John has exhibited in Japan, Germany, The Czech republic and mostly in the US. Exhibitions include Drawn Without Line at the Contemporary Arts Center and Drawn from the Winter at the Clifton Cultural Arts center. Awards include the Award of Distinction By the Interior Design Educators Council, International Juror’s Award by the American Society of Architectural Illustrators, John is a fellow of the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and The Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

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