Marrow Gallery presents Tondo, a group exhibition featuring the work of Shawn Powell, Kristin Farr and Travis Collinson. A tongue-in-cheek take on the round canvas, the three artists use the circle as a beach ball, a patterned hex sign and a shooting star racing through the galaxy. The stiffness and seriousness of a traditional tondo subject, historically featuring renaissance portraiture, is traded for the literal and representational. The exhibition runs March 12 – April 16th.
Shawn Powell’s paintings oscillate between abstraction and representation in an amalgamation of these two often divergent approaches to painting. The size and shape of his canvases take on the size and shape inherent in each of his recent subjects: towels, umbrellas, beach balls, and life preservers all strewn across the beach and seen from a top-down, cinematic viewpoint. Combining low brow, kitschy subjects with a rigorous, conceptual framework, the paintings are humorously deadpan, wry, strange, and awkward, rendering the paintings as anthropological and art historical still lifes influenced by artists and auteurs such as Jacques Tati, Olivier Mosset, and Roy Lichtenstein to name a few.
Through her work, Kristin Farr explores magic, rainbows, nostalgia, color psychology and positive vibes. Her signature Magic Diamond design made of multicolored geometric shapes has been painted on many different surfaces in thematically selected palettes, using countless contrasting colors to create structure and dimension. Her round Op Art paintings are a nod to her family’s roots in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. “Hex Signs” were painted on barns for decoration, good luck or protection, depending on which legend you believe. Her interest in folk magic contributes to her exploration of human made objects that are believed to have powers or talismanic properties and she adapts this traditional art practice with contemporary colors and designs. Color is central to her work and she is influenced by a common form of the neurological condition synesthesia in which her mind associates letters and numbers with specific colors.
Travis Collinson has on a number of occasions used imagery of stars in his work; usually as a means of illustrating the concept of night. This group of paintings is composed of heavenly events. They are illustrative and draw heavily from graphic representations of the sun and stars used on tee shirts in the 70’s and 80’s. The works also combine the elements of facial features, this personifies the heavenly event and offers a somewhat whimsical representation of the cosmos.
About Shawn Powell:
Shawn Powell has presented solo exhibitions at 106 Green, Brooklyn, NY; Chapter, New York, NY; Tennis Elbow at The Journal Gallery, New York, NY; and at Webster University, St. Louis, MO. His work has been included in a two-person exhibition at Abattoir Gallery in Cleveland, OH and Nada Miami along with numerous group exhibitions at venues such as The Fabric Workshop and Museum and NADA New York. He has been featured online in Vanity Fair, Brooklyn Magazine, Bedford and Bowery, Art F City, Hyperallergic, the White Columns #39; Artist Registry, and Juxtapoz Magazine as well as in print in Artmaze Mag, Secret of the Friendly Woods with the Wassaic Project, and the CAN Journal. He co-curates the project space Gazebo Gallery with his partner, curator Annie Wischmeyer, in Kent Ohio, which was featured in New Art Examiner, and he recently curated the exhibition The Dead Don’t Die at Abattoir Gallery, Cleveland, OH. Powell received his BFA in Painting and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA in Painting from Hunter College where he was presented a Tony Smith Award Grant. He was awarded a 2021 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award Grant.
About Kristin Farr:
Kristin Farr’s work has been shown throughout the Bay Area at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Bedford Gallery, FFDG, Anno Domini and Fifty24SF. She has created public art and murals in San Francisco, Taiwan, Manila and Hawaii. She is the former producer of KQED’s Art School and is an editor for Juxtapoz magazine and is currently a curator at Meta Open Arts.
About Travis Collinson:
Travis Collinson received his BFA from CA University, Fullerton. He has shown extensively throughout the country and his work can be found in major institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Berkeley Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, FL. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Orange County Register and various national art publications.