Tag Archives: paintings


26 Sep

OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait with Egungun Hairstyle, 2018. Graphite and pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 31 inches


OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock NY

Solo exhibition opens Friday October 19th and is open through Sunday, December 2.  The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment.

Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00pm and the public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 on Saturday.
OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being—the self in portraits.” The title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.

Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the AfricaAfrica exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.


OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait, after Agbogo Mmwo Mask, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 58 inches

Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.

He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:

Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.

— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum; Board President, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and AAMC Foundation)




For additional information about artist OSI AUDU please contact Morton Fine Art at mortonfineart@gmail.com -or- (202) 628-2787.  Follow the highlighted link to view all available artwork by OSI AUDU on our website www.mortonfineart.com.


All 2018 Byrdcliffe arts programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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ETHAN DIEHL featured in The Daily Iowan

15 May


Art, faces, and stories

BY JUSTUS FLAIR | MAY 15, 2014 5:00 AM

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Walking into Ethan Diehl’s studio apartment felt a bit like walking onto a movie set of how an artist’s home should appear, so perfectly artsy, it was very nearly cliché.

The door opened into a long hallway lined with his oil paintings, predominantly black and white but with a few splashes of color throughout, all brightly lit.

As we continued down the passage, the apartment widened into a spacious glass room overlooking downtown Iowa City — a beautiful seventh-story view of the Ped Mall, the Arcade Building, the green-glass skywalk bridging the two biology buildings, and the towering steeples of several local landmarks. More art lines the walls here, too, but works of friends and fellow artists, not his own.

A partially completed colorless image of a woman sat on a modern-looking wooden easel, locked into place. But it hadn’t always been so secure; pointing to a smear of black and white turning into gray, Diehl said with a chuckle that was where the painting had fallen onto his head a few days previously, wiping paint across his hairless head and spreading it into squares of his painting.

Yes, squares of the painting. An oil painter, Diehl paints faces, primarily women’s faces, based on photos he has taken of them. Using Adobe Photoshop, he breaks the photographs down into grids, usually 1/6-by-1/6 inch squares on a canvas as large as 5-by-5 feet, and painstakingly paints each section individually with a Silver Bristlon Flat Zero brush — the only brush he uses.

“It’s kind of simple what I’m trying to accomplish,” Diehl said. “I come from a long line of storytellers; we tell stories, and I tell stories through my art. I use women’s faces and figures as a vehicle to tell a story about me or my family or my life.”

And it’s been an interesting life.

Born in Austin, Texas, Diehl moved to Iowa when his father, Paul Diehl, was offered a position at Grinnell College. A few years later, Paul Diehl became head of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and the family moved again.

Growing up a block south of the Field House, Diehl used to sell chocolate-chip cookies in front of his home on Hawkeye football game days as he colored outside.

“There was always art around our house,” Diehl said. “From the earliest times, I can remember crayons and pencils and pens.”

The crayons, in particular, stick out to Diehl. One day, his older sister peeled off all the labels on his crayons, and Diehl, who said he always wanted to color everything the correct shade and stay inside the lines, could not tell which colors to use. His perfect blue sky came out purple.

That day Diehl discovered he was colorblind.

But that didn’t dampen his love for art. His experience with art at West High, though, did. His first high-school class, an art class, ended with him handcuffed to a desk, a “joke” by a senior, and his art classes did not much improve from there.

So he went off to college but not as an art major.

“I went to Stanford to be a rocket scientist. Literally,” Diehl said. “I wanted to build space weaponry. I didn’t want to kill people; I just wanted to blow shit up in space.”

As fun as that sounded at the time, he soon grew unhappy and bored, missing art. So he enrolled in a few art classes and, at the start of his junior year, became an art major.

And he was a terrible painter.

But he got better, working for hours a day, improving, honing his skill.

Then he graduated and stopped making art for four years.

When his now ex-wife, also an artist, got a job in California, Diehl went with her and decided to get back to art. He applied to five graduate-school art programs and got five rejections on his 25th birthday. Then he got divorced. And then, he began painting again.

He painted continually, 40 or 50 hours a week, and he got picked up by a few galleries, one in Austin and one in San Francisco.

Then, while watching “60 Minutes,” he saw a piece on Chuck Close, an artist known for his huge paintings of faces that up close seem abstract but at a distant show a distinct image of a face.

That led to his current painting style.

After finding a subject, Diehl takes a still image, almost always in his own apartment. Despite the close range, he uses a telephoto lens, allowing him to get a clear, close up photo from the other side of the room.

“I wanted to take the photos of people as far away as I could,” Diehl said. “I stand at one end of the room with my telephoto lens, and they’d be at the other, and it was like I was a wildlife photographer. I’d get much more natural photographs that way.”

Those natural photographs, once broken down into a grid, become his oil paintings, done in black and white to preserve their integrity and prevent color mistakes.

Though the paintings are time consuming, taking months to paint each tiny 1/6-by-1/6 inch square, it’s a labor of love for Diehl.

“Painting is addictive for me,” he said. “I may stop making good paintings, but I’ll never stop painting.”

Ethan Diehl's painting in progress in his Iowa studio

Ethan Diehl’s painting in progress in his Iowa studio,  it will be on view at Morton Fine Art upon completion, summer 2014

GA GARDNER & ANDREI PETROV’s show “Gallery Opening of the Week” in Washington Post

13 Mar

The Washington Post, Friday, March 8, 2013

The "Fragmentation & Integration" exhibition at Morton Fine Art will feature work from GA Gardner and Andrei Petrov, including the latter's oil painting "Moroccan Field Trip."

The “Fragmentation & Integration” exhibition at Morton Fine Art will feature work from GA Gardner and Andrei Petrov, including the latter’s oil painting “Moroccan Field Trip.”


Formal considerations – how a work of art is put together – are front and center in “Fragmentation & Integration,” a two-person exhibition opening Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Morton Fine Art. The show features the abstractions of G.A. Gardner and Andrei Petrov, two artists whose manipulations of surface, pattern and scale explore the tension between coming together and falling apart.

But form also can convey a deeper meaning, as in the case of Gardner’s organic images, which the artist says are about the theme of memory and forgetting.

-Michael O’Sullivan

Through April 2 at 1781 Florida Ave. NW (Metro: U Street).
http://www.mortonfineart.com. Free.