McClain Gallery is pleased to present A Sun that Never Sets, a group exhibition which includes work by Charles Burchfield, Kent Dorn, Barnaby Furnas, Patrick Jacobs, Alex Katz, Joan Nelson, Tal R and Joseph Yoakum. Various interpretations of landscape painting are represented in the selected work venturing through realism, romanticism and abstraction, to the visionary and mystical. A Sun that Never Sets opens Saturday, November 11th with a reception from 1 - 4pm and will run though January 13th, 2018.

Charles Burchfield (1883-1967) is recognized as one of the most inventive American artists of the twentieth century. In the 1940s, Burchfield returned to ideas begun in early fantasy scenes that he often expanded into transcendental landscapes. Always probing the mysteries of nature in an attempt to reveal his inner emotions, Burchfield once stated, "An artist must paint not what he sees in nature, but what is there. To do so he must invent symbols, which, if properly used, make his work seem even more real than what is in front of him."

His work has been the focus of numerous museum exhibitions, including; an exhibition of early watercolors at the Museum of Modern Art in 1930; retrospectives at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo in 1944; the Whitney Museum of American in 1956, 1980 and 2002; the University of Arizona Art Gallery, Tucson in 1965; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1990; and the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio in 1997. The latter exhibition, titled The Paintings of Charles Burchfield: North by Midwest, traveled to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo, New York and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.

Kent Dorn (b.1977, South Carolina) is known for narrative paintings that possess a distinctive tactile quality. His scenes are a personal interpretation of the sublime, evoked through idyllic wooded worlds inspired by 19th century American landscape painting, 70s and 80s horror films, and hippie culture. The landscapes rendered in his paintings are metaphorical spaces in which characters wander through in search of a revelatory experience. Dorn's response to the natural world takes cues from artists such as visionary watercolorist Charles Burchfield and German Romantic landscape painter, Caspar David Friedrich.

Dorn received his BFA from Anderson College (1999) and his MFA from the University of Houston (2005). He is represented by McClain Gallery and has shown throughout Texas and in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Copenhagen. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times and has been featured in New American Paintings (Cover, editors pick Issue No.102), Artlies and Gulf Coast Literary Journal among others.

Barnaby Furnas (b. 1973, Pennsylvania) has dealt with “the personal in a historical way, and the historical in a personal way” throughout the entirety of his career. Tackling the more dramatic themes of the human condition, Furnas’ monumental and tradition-bound subjects have evolved from historical events to more mythical and religious iconography. In Furnas’s Red Sea paintings , large swaths of saturated pigments and dye gesturally traverse the picture plane and allude to diverse biblical narratives, including the parting of the Red Sea in the Book of Exodus. 

Furnas currently lives and works in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995 from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY and a Masters of Fine Art degree in 2000 from Columbia University, New York, NY. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2015); Victoria Miro Gallery, London (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2009); and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2005). Select public collections include Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Dakis Joannou Collection Foundation, Greece; Fort Worth Modern Art Museum, TX; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX; Honart Museum, Teheran; MCA Chicago, IL; MoCA, LA; The Lever House Art Collection, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.

Patrick Jacobs (b. 1971, California) intentionally blurs boundaries between the traditional artistic media of painting, sculpture and photography in his works. His meticulously constructed, three-dimensional dioramas, viewed through small magnifying lenses, present the viewer with a spatial and perceptual conundrum; we are drawn into a space at once determinate and infinite, natural and contrived, prosaic and otherworldly.

Jacobs’ received an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and studied at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions including group shows at the Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA; Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Florence, Italy; and Museum of Arts and Design, NY, NY. He has received awards and residencies from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Bad Wiesse. His work can be found in the collections of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation; Al and Loralee West Collection, Philadelphia, PA; The Museum of Arts & Design, New York; University of Maryland, Adele H. Stamp Student Union; Hallmark Cards, Inc.; and the Portland Museum of Art.

Alex Katz (b. 1927, New York) is one of the most recognized and widely-exhibited artists of his generation. His earliest work took inspiration from various aspects of mid-century American culture and society, including television, film, and advertising, and over the past five and a half decades he has established himself as a preeminent painter of modern life, whose distinctive portraits and lyrical landscapes bear a flattened surface and consistent economy of line. In the late 1980s and 1990s, Katz focused much of his attention on large landscape paintings, which he characterizes as “environmental.” Rather than observing a scene from afar, the viewer feels enveloped by nearby nature. Katz began each of these canvases with “an idea of the landscape, a conception,” trying to find the image in nature afterwards. In 1986, Katz began painting a series of night pictures—a sharp departure from the sunlit landscapes he had previously painted, forcing him to explore a new type of light. Variations on the theme of light falling through branches appear in Katz’s work throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century.

Since the 1950s, Alex Katz's work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions around the world. His work can be found in nearly 100 public collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others.

Joan Nelson (b. 1958, California) lives and works in upstate New York. Occupying a unique place in the long history of landscape painting, Nelson's works simultaneously speak to the practice of landscape and the complexity of representation, artfully incorporating reality, memory and mediated experience. Her choice to paint on a simple form—a square, wooden box—is a nod to such Modern Masters such as Donald Judd.

Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Minneapolis Museum of Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Tal R (b. 1967, Tel Aviv) works across a diverse range of media including painting, drawing, print, textiles, sculpture and furniture. He questions our conceptions of and presumptions about our surrounding reality – what we’re seeing and where its meaning lies. “Tal R’s artwork always appears free, wild, searching, vital and simply unacademic… from the outset [he] has been a storyteller with a special eye for the overlooked, hidden and repressed spaces of modern life. In his art and thinking, Tal R is constantly interested in everything that goes against conformity.”

Tal R lives and works in Copenhagen. The major solo exhibition Academy of Tal R tours to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam this autumn having first opened at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark earlier in 2017. Previous solo exhibitions have recently been staged at institutional venues including ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark (2013 - 2014); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2013); Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria, travelling to Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (both 2013); Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, São Paulo (2012); Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2012); Kunstverein Augsburg-Holbeinhaus, Augsburg, Germany (2011); Der Kunstverein, Hamburg (2011); Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm (2009); Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen (2009); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2008); Camden Arts Centre, London (2008); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2007); and Kunsthalle Mannheim (2007).

Joseph Yoakum (b. 1890, d. 1972), according to official records, was born in 1890 in Ash Grove, Missouri, though by his own account, he was born in 1888 on a Navajo reservation near Window Rock, Arizona. Yoakum was a storyteller who claimed to have traveled the world, crisscrossing North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia as a circus advance man, soldier, train porter, hobo, stevedore, and stowaway. He is said to have started drawing in 1962, when he was in his 70s, and thereafter he made one or two drawings a day until his death on Christmas morning in 1972. Today his work is usually displayed in the context of folk and outsider art, but he remains an influential figure among a devoted cadre of artists and collectors.

Yoakum’s first show in the contemporary art world was in 1968 at Edward Sherbeyn Gallery in Chicago. In 1969, the group of artists known as the Chicago Imagists included him in their first museum show, Don Baum Sez Chicago Needs More Famous Artists, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago). Over the next three years, Yoakum was given several solo museum exhibitions, including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York, 1971) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, 1972).