The Lionheart Gallery Debuts Art by Whit Conrad from
March 7 – April 26
Solo Exhibition Features a Collection of Whimsical Portraits of Daily Life
Pound Ridge, NY – (February 15, 2015) Susan Grissom, director of The Lionheart Gallery, located at 27 Westchester Avenue in Pound Ridge, New York, is renowned for scouting out and signing some of the most exciting contemporary artists of our time for her gallery. Her bi-monthly exhibitions regularly draw art aficionados from across the country eager to see what works she is showcasing next in her Chelsea-like gallery. Her new exhibition, Art by Whit, is making its debut on March 7 through April 26, 2015 with a breakout collection of satirical painted commentaries by Bedford- and Manhattan-based artist Whit Conrad.
Whimsy and wit are at the core of Conrad’s art, keeping his works perennially provocative and fresh with each viewing. Combining acrylic ink and acrylics on linen or oil on linen, selected works for his solo exhibition will include his Comanche Dinner series, his goat family paintings, Fish for Sale and other colorful odes to fishing, as well as his tongue-in-cheek perspectives on real life scenes, from the Pink Lady, Morning After, Bad Week, Puttin on a Face, The Gardener, At the Ball and more that humorously play out in multi-meaning stories on his large canvases.
Says Susan Grissom, “I love the satirical expression in Whit Conrad’s works. At first glance, I thought they were reminiscent of the artist Jean- Michel Basquiat, but after visiting him in his studio, it is very clear that Whit has his own unique style and point of view. I think people who see his work will find much to laugh about in how he depicts everyday life. I love the characters he has created as well as his animals. I can’t think of a more perfect winter exhibit to wake people up from the winter doldrums.”
Whit Conrad, a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, didn’t start painting until after he retired from a successful 36-year career at one of the leading law firms in New York City. Acting on a long-held suggestion by his mother, a passionate and prolific painter, he dabbled in art classes at first, tentatively putting pencil to paper in a drawing class at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. He planned to drop out after one semester. But several members of the New York Studio School faculty, painter Graham Nickson, dean of the school, and former teacher, mixed media artist Grace Knowlton among them, had other aspirations for him, encouraging him to try his hand at painting before he put away his palette. He ended up staying for three years.
Located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, the Studio School was founded on the principle that drawing from life should form of the basis of artistic development. Students are encouraged to develop their artistic practice along lines similar to the “atelier” approach favored by European art. Their staff is a treasure trove of contemporary artists, each with a distinctive signature style that pays tribute to their creative expressions.
According to the school’s established artists, there are three things that all great art must have: formal use of line and color, poetic imagery and a mysterious essence. Whit’s master of color and image was impressive right out of the gate. His figurative style is always a constant surprise and delight. And his ability to create smile inducing, thought provoking scenes of everyday pastimes pays well-earned tribute to his unique take on his life experiences.
“I try to capture the poetry and mystery in what I see,” explains Whit. “My paintings are all conceived by an image that strikes me as powerful or interesting in one sense or another. The image triggers an inquiry—often emotional, often playful—into elements of form, color, and narrative.”
“I normally begin with the visual world: a pictorial idea. This can be something I have seen and perhaps sketched or photographed, or drawn from my collection of family photos, books and newspapers: the richly landscaped archives of memory. Whatever its origin, the image becomes my companion in the journey through my imagination and the demands of the medium. Together we evolve, complicate, suffer, celebrate, transform. Without a map and without direction, we are free to wander recklessly. Eventually, the painting itself takes over as guide, steering us toward some unexpected destination.”
Art is hard, admits Whit, but creating it challenges and excites the senses. Studying art with exceptional mentors like the ones he worked with at the Studio School opened up a new passion for this retired lawyer. No matter the struggles, Whit says his teachers told him to keep at it if that’s what he wanted. Lucky for us, he did keep at it.
“When I was a young law student, my mother said ‘learn how to draw and be happy for the rest of your life.’ Turns out, she was right.”
Whit Conrad’s exhibition is open to the public at The Lionheart Gallery from March 7 through April 26, 2015, Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm; Sundays from 12 noon to 5 pm and by chance. Meet the Artist in person at the exhibition’s opening reception from 5 pm to 8 pm on Saturday March 7, 2015.
For more information, visit http://www.thelionheartgallery.com or call 914.764.8689.
For media interviews, contact Cindy Clarke, email email@example.com or call 203.613.9163.
About Whit Conrad
Whit Conrad is a New York City and Bedford, NY, based artist. He is a graduate of the New York Studio School in painting and drawing.
His work has been shown at various public venues including:
-Price Waterhouse Coopers lobby show, selected sculpture, 2008.
-NYSS Gallery, solo shows, 2009, 2010, 2011
-Bedford Art Show, curated group shows, 2010, 2013, 2015
-Knickerbocker Club Art Show, New York City, various years
-Spinnaker Trust Art Show, Portland, ME, curated solo show, 2014
-Gallery Sensei, New York City, solo show, 2014
He is a trustee of the Vermont Studio Center where he was board chair for seven years. Previously a corporate lawyer in NYC, he has degrees from Yale and Harvard Law School. View his portfolio of work at artbywhit.tumblr.com