Greg Schoon is most commonly known around campus for his art display that included the controversial “Black Flag” piece. Now, two years after his last exhibit here, Schoon is back with an entirely different repertoire to present.
Schoon’s work will be displayed in the Te Paske Gallery Sept. 13 through Oct. 9. A public reception is set for Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.
Schoon’s exhibit is a tribute to a friend, Poot Christiano, who died this past May of ovarian cancer. From tragedy, art often follows, and such is true with this display.The collection consists of expressive, abstract drawings with use of mixed media, all of which Schoon created as he moved through his grieving process for his dead friend.
Art professor Rein Vanderhill said, “This exhibit is about something very different from the two pieces of art that were exhibited by this artist two years ago.”
Vanderhill invites the Northwestern community to give Schoon’s work a second look, as it is entirely different from what it looked like during his previous appearance at NW.
“This show is made up of abstract drawings with images that don’t have any obvious meaning,” Vanderhill said.
Although the meaning of each individual drawing may not be clear to every viewer of the exhibit, there is one interesting theme that might be obvious, especially for those with knowledge about Andrew Lloyd Webber.
“Each drawing in the show has a title that comes from verses in a song from ‘Cats,’” Vanderhill said. If the titles of each piece of the sequence are read consecutively, they will complete the lyrics of the song.
Schoon wants the art in this exhibit to speak for itself and said that he can speak of the technical aspects, but the art is its own language, just as music is.
Schoon recalled finding a poster in the men’s restroom once. On it was a crayon drawing of a tree and a dog with a supposed quote by Picasso under it, “Those who want to know what a painting is about are barking up the wrong tree.” Schoon’s art should be viewed with this quote in mind.
“Hearing a Beethoven symphony is utterly different than reading about it,” Schoon said. “Art doesn’t have much to do with words. The eye sees, the image goes directly to the brain, and emotions, memories, a whole range of sensations are silently evoked—words are bypassed. Unnecessary.”
Schoon wants a sensual response to his art, rather than an immediate, analytical approach. He realizes that each person that views his art will experience it differently.
“You don’t need to know anything ‘about’ art to experience it, if you open yourself to it,” Schoon said. “Children have no problem with it. It is important just to look at art and listen to your mind and body.”
Although the imagery used in this specific exhibit is from imagery such as this is common to the human race.