Mark Strickland: Between Heaven and Hell, Fears and Desires
A Retrospective 2001-2011
"When I create, I often look at what was expressed through my awareness as if I hadn’t created the work. From time to time I discover a previous painting and do not remember having created it, as though the work came to be from its own longing for itself and not from me. Painting or any other art form can be a way to turn pain, fear, and anxiety into flowers of calmness and wisdom. It can be used as a meditation for facing our fears from a sacred place of compassion for others, as well as for ourselves. The exercise of “feeling” that we are made more of light and compassion than of flesh allows us to break down the barriers between us.
In this exhibit Between Heaven and Hell Fears and Desires, I intend to share with you, the viewer, my convictions and beliefs as a humanist artist."
"Mark Strickland, who defies the mainstream with his unsparing depictions of the worst we human beings do to each other. He requires us, no matter our discomfort, to look at it, and to confront our own responsibility. He does so in a scale, and with a passion that brooks no avoidance on the part of anyone who shares his courage to look barbarity, and cruelty, and misery in the face. His works- look at it! Really, look at it! That’s all he asks- is a maelstrom of conflicting emotion: anger, pain, sadness, grief, shame, guilt, it’s all there, upfront, unavoidable.
And then, finally- let’s not forget this, because it might be overlooked- there’s the bottom line, the one below the suffering. Or above the suffering, perhaps. It’s Strickland’s omnipresent, deeply expressed hope for peace and justice in the world."
To hear more about our recent Art Opening with Mark Strickland, Click here
To Mark Strickland, inspired by his sculpture "Mater Dolorosa", by Teresa Lefranc
My children, my little ones,
I look at you and my heart rends,
How I wish I could hold
Each and every one.
And thus, take you to safe harbor.
I can feel your pain,
I am silent witness
Of the tragedy of men.
I’ve seen dreams and desires
Become a reality.
I have also witnessed with sorrow
The shame and disgrace
That many suffer
Trying to search
A safe harbor
Under my shelter.
How I wish my torch would
Light up the deepest paths
Of the human heart.
There, where the best and worst
Of each one dwells.
Where the fiercest battles
Have taken place
And from where the most
Sublime feelings arise.
Thus, with that spark,
With that beam, seek
Brotherhood and not separation,
Fortune and not misfortune,
Life and not death
Of the many who clamor
My shelter and protection.
The Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning presents:
American Jews, Israel and Anti-Semitism in the Trump Era
Story Line: My Family's History
Art serves as a compass to determine and explore our place in the world. It is a fulcrum, linking the physical world with ideas, memory and vision. I have the honor of constantly reflecting a continually changing, perplexing, and marvelous world that we all occupy.
The studio work is a personal view. I strive to visually connect conceptual views to history and to nature. I often combine two and three dimensions. Two-dimensional images create illusions of depth, while three-dimensional art is typically object oriented. Combining the two affords the opportunity to build illusion out of objects and objects out of painting, thereby creating a paradox. This contradiction of dimension mimics our imaginations, perceptions feelings and daily lives. The studio work often addresses life cycles, changes in time and place, and the nature of art itself.
Los Angeles is my original home. My art education was in painting at the University of California, Berkeley, where I earned BA and MA degrees. After two years in New Mexico, I moved just outside of Denver where a former barn is my studio.
“Story Line” is a joy to read, partially because the information is so specific. Partially, too, because the imagery is done with such care and feeling. The booklet-like catalog that identifies buildings that figure into your family history was a brilliant idea. What you wrote about each site makes an engaging story.
Jim Melchert, artist, Professor Emeritus at University of California, Berkeley
Former head of Visual Arts, National Endowment of the Arts
Former Director of National Academy in Rome
To hear more about our recent Art Opening with Susan Cooper, Click here