Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Gesture in the Theatre" Ink Drawings by John Davis Carroll

"Gesture in the Theatre"
Opening: Friday March 4th 2016 6pm – 9pm
1600 Cherry Kansas City, MO 64108

"Rehearsal S5" 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" Ink on Paper 

Artist Statement     
     These ink gesture drawings were done using a Japanese ink brush pen on paper during dance rehearsals at the Carlsen Center located on the Johnson County Community College campus in 2014 and 2015. One of my favorite aspects of life drawing is how one expresses the emotion of movement of the human form. The expression of a fleeting moment took precedent over documenting the human form. It is an attempt to express the energy, tension and movement of both the dance rehearsal session and my skills as a visual artist. So, the abstract qualities are stronger in some of the drawings. They are representations of what I saw and felt at those moments as an artist. I see these gesture drawings as virtual collaboration with the dancers.     
     In part, these drawings were inspired from a trip to Mongolia with brief stops in South Korea and China. Visiting a Shaman's ger (yurt) in the steppes of Mongolia, I had the opportunity to see a woman demonstrate traditional Mongolian calligraphy using ink and brush. To me, Mongolian script looks like a mixture of Korean and Arabic writing. It has flowing lines and circles written in a vertical format. Rather than duplicating or emulating this style, my work is an exploration of a similar medium expressing modern dance.     
     Though most may know me as a landscape painter, I have had a long relationship with the human figure as an artist and teacher. When I was in graduate school at Parsons School of Design in NYC in the early 1990’s the primary subject matter was having live models 5 days a week for the 2 year program. I have been teaching drawing and painting at JCCC for 15 years and life drawing for the Masters in Theatre Design at UMKC for 14 years. In the title for this show Theatre is not a misspelling. Theater is a venue and the Theatre is an art form. 

The artwork will be on display the month of March.