Recent paintings by John D. Gall bring forth an extension of his work done over the past 25 years but with a much more surreal influence within his subject matter. Those familiar with his work may be surprised to see paintings rather than original prints (etching and relief) but John’s unique imagery or “artistic signature” is ever present in any medium he uses. As John explains; “I was a painter for many years before attending Guilford College where, unexpectedly, I became seduced with making original prints. I’m sure I will continue to create prints, but as I re-visit painting I have also found a renewed purpose and focus for painting.”
There is a playful, whimsical, yet serious nature in the images John creates, whereby man’s everyday stuggles seems to deal with the “choices” made during life. You often see a recurring theme such as stealing or stopping time, loneliness, being impoverished, or trying to make sense of a dream. There is even a suggestion of wishful thinking. All the new paintings exhibit a heightened sense of color, being vibrant and rich.
John’s work is in various public collections including the University of Dallas, Guilford College, Perdue University, University of West Georgia, Arkansas State University, Capital Bank, Kerr Drugs, Essex Plastics Corporation, and numerous private collections. Two of his drawings are currently included in the show entitled: Line,Touch,Trace at the North Carolina Museum of Art, which will run from August 31, 2014 through March 8, 2015.
I strive to tell stories with my art, whether indirectly as metaphors or directly as narratives. Even a still life can tell a story. My subjects may be dreamed, imagined, or experienced, as an autobiographical interpretation, but those invented from my imagination are the most precious to me. Any person, place, time or thing can be a source for inspiration allowing freedom and diversity of subject matter. Solving the problem of staying focused is handled by working in series, pursuing an idea until it has been explored, drained, and pushed to the limits of my interest. It is difficult to say how many different images may come from a basic "idea."
I admire drawing, and my primary creative medium is printmaking, with the majority of my prints being intaglio(etching). I relate to the European tradition of etching, emphasizing line and technique. Many of my mentors: Rembrandt, Goya, Whistler, and Picasso all excelled as draftsmen and etchers. The love of a strong graphic image and the craft to produce it can be clearly seen in their prints. I would like to think I am proceeding in the same direction. To keep myself fresh and introduce variety, I also work in other mediums in addition to printmaking; the most common of these is mixed media on paper.
The realm of imagination has brought me to my most current body of work (1995-present). Coming from a math and science background, I am fascinated by the aesthetic beauty of mathematical equations, graphs and symbols. This has led me to the most complex equation of all: the "Human equation." In an almost surreal way I have begun combining and incorporating human figures with these symbols in a new, fabricated "world" of Knowledge Seekers. The works are usually in an unexplained space where different scales and perspectives exist. The symbols represent metaphors for various conditions of knowledge and depict ways these Knowledge Seekers "use" their knowledge. This direction in my art has expanded to include not only the "Human" equation, but also botanical and biological subjects, and most always include symbols and some sort of scientific data. Other noteworthy series include: "Souls" (whimsical predicaments of human souls) and "Tuscany" (interpretations from travels in Italy).
SELECTED RESUME / ACHIEVMENTS
Miami-Dade Junior College (1964-65) Miami, FL.
Guilford College (1989-92) Greensboro, NC.
ART RELATED EXPERIENCE
Work as part-time preparator for the Theatre Art Galleries, High Point, NC and the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, NC.
Active as a visiting artist to various educational institutions, providing lectures and demonstrations.
2006 One person show at UNC-Wilmington. On view at the Warick Center, the "UNCW-Presents" show includes 25 works of both intaglio hand pulled prints and mixed media works on paper. The show was entitled: ÒHuman EquationsÓ- Prints and drawings.
2006 One person show at the Theatre Art Galleries, High Point. Fourteen etchings and fourteen works on paper from 1996 through 2006 were exhibited.
2006 Invited to show at the Moring Art Center, Asheboro, NC. Exhibited prints and drawing in connection with sculpture artist, William Donnan.
2004 One person show held at Triad Stage, a satellite gallery of the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art. The show was entitled Human Equations- The Series. The exhibited works were intaglio prints.
2004 One person show at Waddell Art Gallery, Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus, Sterling, VA. A selection of intaglio prints from the Human Equations series created from 1994 thought 2004 wereexhibited. Work was purchased for the schoolÕs permanent collection.
2004 One person show at the Eastern Standard Gallery, Greensboro, NC. An exhibition of 25 mixed media works on paper entitled: The Botanicals were exhibited. The series featured trees, flowers, shrubs, weeds, and other botanicals within a few hundred feet of my studio, incorporating scientific symbols.
2001 One person show at Reinhardt College, Waleska, GA. Approximately 35 intaglio prints and mixed media drawings were exhibited. A Gallery talk was given. Work was selected for the permanent collection of the college.
1997 One person show, Pressure Sensitive, Elliott University Galleries, UNCG, Greensboro, NC. Etchings from two series were exhibited.
1995 One person show, Italy and Beyond, Theatre Arts Gallery, High Point, NC. Approximately 30 intaglio prints from the Italian series and the Souls series were exhibited.
1992 One person show, Mindscapes, Elliott Center Gallery, UNC-Greensboro, Greensboro, NC. New mixed media works on paper.
SELECTED RECENT GROUP SHOWS / ACHIEVEMENTS / AWARDS
2008 Work selected for the 21st Parkside National Small Print Exhibition at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Juror: Karla Hackenmiller, Chair and Associate Professor, OU.
2008 Work selected for the 16th Sixty Square Inches small prints show at Purdue University. Juror: Janet Ballweg, Professor of Art, Bowling Green State University.
2008 Work selected for the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition at Arkansas State University. Juror: Marjorie Devon, Director, Tamarind Institute.
2008 Selected for the 20th University of Dallas National Print Invitational. After the University of Dallas exhibition the show will travel throughout Texas until 2010. Fifteen printmakers were selected by graduate students from the University of Dallas. This project is organized by Jurgen Strunck, Professor of Art.
2007 Invited to participate in the printmaking show, Printmatters, at the 5IVE & 4ORTY gallery, Winston-Salem, NC. Ten artists form throughout the United States were invited by curator, Kimberly Varnadoe (Art Professor, Salem College).
2007 Invited to participate in the theme based exhibition, Art & War, at Elon University. The artists were chosen by the art faculty, Elon University.
2007 Participated in the 2007 Guilford College Alumni art exhibition, Guilford College.
2006 Invited to participate in "Nascar Inspired," a group show curated by the Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC.
2006 Work selected for the AAWS national juried show, Dimension 2006. Juror: Brooke Anderson, Director and Curator, The Contemporary Center of the American Art Museum.
2006 Selected as Professional Artist status in the Center for Visual Arts, Greensboro, NC. Juror: Hank Foreman, Director and Curator of the Turchin Center, ASU. Exhibited in the first annual show for this new level.
2005 Invited to hold an etching workshop at High Point University. The workshop was for students at the school with varying knowledge of etching.
2005 Work selected for the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition, Arkansas State University. Juror: Lloyd Menard, Director, Frogman's Press and Gallery and Professor Emeritus.
2005 Work selected for the 18th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, WI. Juror: Karen Kunc, Cather Professor of Art, UN-L.
2005 Work selected for In The Mix, a group show featuring works in mixed media sponsored by AAWS. Juror: Ginger Jackson Williamson, art faculty, Greensboro College. Received third palce award.
2004 Invited to exhibit in an invitational group small print show at the State University of New York at Oneonta. The show was curated by Jim Mullen, Fine Arts Gallery Director and Professor Emeritus.
2004 Invited to participate in the group show, Frogs and Lizards and Artists, Oh My! Exhibited at the W.H.Moring, Jr. Arts Center, Asheboro, NC.
2004 Work selected for the Mid-America Print Council member's show at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Juror: Mark Smith, artist, critic, and master printer. Show exhibited in conjunction with the 2004 MAPC Conference.
2004 Work selected for Upward and Onward, an AAWS exhibiting member's juried show. Juror: Kathlean F. G. Hutton, curator of education, Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Awarded First Place.
2004 Work selected for the Mid-America Print Council member's show at Clarion University. Jurors were Kristin Powers Nowlin and Joe Thomas, faculty, Clarion University.
2003 Invited to be the juror for the High Point Fine Arts GuildÕs Fall all member show. A critique and gallery talk was given at the opening reception.
2003 Invited to participate in Purdue University Galleries' 25th Anniversary Show, Purdue University. The invitation was to all artists in their permanent collection.
2003 Awarded Second Place in the Greensboro Artists League's annual all member show. Juror: Greg Shelnutt, faculty of NC School of the Arts.
2003 Invited as guest artist to speak about etching, my work, and techniques used, to the students at Guilford College. A portfolio of etchings of several artists' works was shown.
2003 Invitational small group show, Body Language, at Arts United for Davidson County, Lexington, NC. The show traveled to the Moring Gallery, Randolph Art Guild, Asheboro, NC.
2002 Invitational drawing show, Working Drawings, at the Green Hill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC. Exhibited six finished drawings.
2002 Guest curator and exhibiter for Printmaking in the European Tradition at the Theatre Art Galleries, High Point, NC. Six artists from across the United States were selected to participate.
2002 Works selected for the 2002 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition, Arkansas State University, State University, AR. Juror: Lynne Allen, Professor of Art, Rutgers University; Director, Rutgers Center For Innovative Print and Paper. Received purchase award for the permanent collection, Arkansas State University.