Tag Archives: Vonn Sumner

VONN SUMNER’s “Only Painted Fire” exhibition at Morton Fine Art

9 Nov

On view:

Morton Fine Art

52 O St #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

 

Neo-Byzantine (Red Hot), 2019, 24″x20″, oil on panel

 

 

Betrayal Wall,  2019, 24″x24″, oil on panel

 

El Ingres-Frida (Appropriation of Culture), 2019, 24″x24″, oil on canvas

 

Balloon Dumpster (The Party’s Over), 2019, 16″x20″, oil on panel

About Only Painted Fire
In the summer of 2018, I travelled to Italy to see many of my favorite paintings in person for the first time: the early Renaissance frescoes of Giotto, Masaccio, and Piero della

Francesca. Though I was very familiar with the work through reproduction, seeing it with my own eyes was a transformative experience. When I returned home to California, I began a nearly life-size copy of one of my favorite panels of the Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni chapel in Padua (alternately referred to as The Betrayal of Christ or Judas’ Kiss). I wanted to inhabit the painting, rather than just look at it; I wanted to feel what it was like to make those paintings.

 

During the process of copying this painting, I became intrigued with Giotto’s stylized depiction of fire, which blazed at the end of several torches along the top of the painting. I realized I had never really painted fire, and for some reason this became an

irresistible challenge. At the same time, I was following the news and trying

to make sense of the polarized and turbulent political climate of our time.

Perhaps due to my newfound fascination with painting fire, certain phrases that

commentators and pundits would use grabbed my attention: “dumpster-fire” and

“trash-fire” especially, used as hyperbolic expressions of frustration and

outrage. 

 

I began to think more deeply about the uses and depictions of fire, symbolically and literally, and the ways in which humans have used fire in rituals. Fire is dangerous and out of control, which also makes it beautiful and sexy and alive. Fire is violent and

destructive, which leads to change, regeneration and rebirth. We speak of

‘trial by fire’ and ‘lost torches’; passionate people can be ‘on fire’’ and

have ‘fire in their belly.’ In California we have “Fire Season” and “high fire

danger” alerts. There are “fire eaters” to entertain us, and parties that “burn

down the house” and light “the roof on fire,” etc… All of these phrases and

notions have been on my mind this past year as I have painted fire and searched

for personal and artistic renewal.

 

The resulting paintings are not meant as a definitive or conclusive statement, rather as evidence of one painter engaging with the world, following a gut instinct, and doing “research paintings” in order to see what happens. The work can be seen symbolically or

literally, or both; and I invite the viewer to bring their own interpretations

and resonances to the occasion. No matter how we look at our current cultural

moment, regardless of ideology or affiliation, it seems we are living through a

time of great change. These paintings are in some way a response to that

condition.

 

– VONN SUMNER, 2019

 

 

Dumpster Fire III,  2019, 16″x16″, oil on panel

 

Dumpster Fire IV, 2019, 18″x18″, oil on panel

 

Dumpster Fire II, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

KOR, 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

About VONN CUMMINGS SUMNER

 

Vonn Cummings Sumner grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the son of a picture framer and a school teacher. Seeing the art that his father was framing, as well as travel in Europe, Central America and India shaped Sumner’s visual aesthetic during his formative years.

 

He attended the University of California, at Davis, where he earned both a Bachelor’s degree and an M.F.A. in painting, with highest honors. While at Davis he worked closely with Wayne Thiebaud both as a student and as a teaching assistant. Sumner also took summer classes at the San Francisco Art Institute, and is influenced by the Bay Area Figurative movement that centered around that school in the postwar period.

 

Sumner has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1998. He has been featured or reviewed in many publications including New American Paintings, Elle Décor, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, L.A. Weekly, Art Ltd., Riviera magazine, Hi Fructose, Cartwheel Art, The Painter’s Table, Boom magazine, and Quick Fiction. Sumner has shown regularly throughout the Los Angeles area since 2003, including in a solo museum show- Vonn Sumner: The Other Side of Here- at the Riverside Art Museum in the fall of 2008. A second solo museum exhibition, Vonn Sumner: Stages, followed in 2011 at the Phillips Museum of Art on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Sumner’s paintings have been shown internationally in Venice, Italy; Manchester, England, and Switzerland. He is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washigton, DC.

 

Only Painted Fire marks his forth solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art.

 

 

Standing Man (on fire), 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire IV, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire III, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on canvas

 

Neo-Byzantine (Japonaiserie), 2019, 24″x20″,  oil on paper mounted on panel

 

A Fire Without a Trashcan, 2019, 16″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire II, 2019, 14″x12″, oil on canvas

 

Trashfire I, 2019, 12″x9.5″, oil on canvas

 

Link to available artwork by VONN SUMNER

VONN SUMNER paints from life “Trash Fire III”

5 Aug

VONN SUMNER creates a remarkable painting titled “Trash Fire III”, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on linen from life. Check out this incredible video of SUMNER oil painting while viewing a burning trash can outside his studio window!

 

 

 

 

 

VONN SUMNER’s finished painting, “Trash Fire III”, 2019, 18″x14″, oil on linen.

 

Available artwork by VONN SUMNER.

 

Contact the gallery for more information:

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

Giotto’s “The Kiss of Judas” inspires six new paintings by VONN SUMNER

14 Mar

Morton Fine Art invites you to join us for an unveiling of new and major artworks at Gallery B in Bethesda this March

9 Mar

Artwork by: OSI AUDU, JULIA MAE BANCROFT, ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, NATALIE CHEUNG, NATHANIEL DONNETT, VICTOR EKPUK, KATHERINE HATTAM, NATE LEWIS, ANDREI PETROV, MARIO ANDRES ROBINSON, and VONN SUMNER

 

 

Spring 2019 Survey of Select Morton Fine Art Artists

March 6 – March 30th, 2019

Opening Reception

Friday, March 8th from 6-8pm

 

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Gallery B

7700 Wisconsin Ave, Ste E

Bethesda, MD 20814

 

HOURS

Wednesday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm

 

Want to view artwork in DC? Come by our permanent gallery space:

 

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

Hours: Wed – Sat 12pm-5pm and Sun-Tues by appointment

 

Please also view our exhibition “Starshine and Clay” featuring the artwork of KESHA BRUCE, MAYA FREELON and AMBER ROBLES-GORDON at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA through March 31st, 2019.

 

Workhouse Arts Center

2nd Floor – McGuireWoods Gallery

9518 Workhouse Road

Lorton, VA 22079

Hours: Wed – Sat 11am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm

 

About Morton Fine Art  

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that anyone can become an art collector or enthusiast, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice.

Redefining the traditional gallery model, Morton Fine Art (MFA) replaces a single gallery space with two locations: MFA’s permanent fine art gallery space and *a pop-up project, a temporary mobile art galleryof curated group shows.  Morton Fine Art established it’s trademark, *a pop-up project, in 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VONN SUMNER featured in Hi-Fructose

22 Dec
by Andy SmithPosted on 

Vonn Sumner’s ambiguous characters, often seen in makeshift costumes, are part of an ongoing narrative that the viewer is invited to dissect. Are they enthusiastic hobbyists? Deadly serious vigilantes? What is obvious is the painter’s ability to evoke mystery and elegance through these unlikely heroes. Sumner was last featured on HiFructose.com here.


“Through this playful ambiguity, Sumner’s cast of characters draws us into their cryptic narratives, as seen in the cabal series of wall portraits,” a recent statement says. “Defined as a group of people united in some close design together, a cabal promotes their private views or interests, often through intrigue and in secret. This plays into the idea of secret societies, although Sumner’s series of portraits are more humorously enigmatic than sinister.”

See more of Sumner’s recent work below.

 

VONN SUMNER’s “Bread and Circuses (and Walls) reviewed in The Washington Post

4 Oct

VONN SUMNER, A Big Fat Beautiful Wall, 2017, 80″x65″, acrylic and collage on linen

Vonn Sumner

A Californian whose ancestors lived in that state when it was still part of Mexico, Vonn Sumner is not one of the “build the wall” crowd. His response to that chant is the series of paintings in “Bread and Circuses (and Walls).” The biggest piece in the Morton Fine Art show, “A Big Fat Beautiful Wall,” stacks bricklike blocks of bright color, each rectangle graced with a traditional Mexican decorative paper appliqué. The painter also depicts barriers that almost hide the carnival-style festivities behind them.

Updating a phrase that dates to Juvenal, who satirized life in Rome almost two millennia ago, Sumner paints jesters in colorful, bellfestooned hoods. Many of the performers have loaves of Mexican-style sweet bread balanced on their heads. The clowns look sideways at the edge of the pictures, skeptically avoiding the viewer’s gaze. They don’t want to join the circus parade.

Sumner paints in a realist style, deftly employing modeling and shadow to simulate roundness and depth. Yet he intentionally simplifies, notably by using areas of intense, simple hues that suggest both comic books and color-field painting. The effect is to invoke universal forms — things that will outlast the biggest, most beautiful wall. Vonn Sumner: Bread and Circuses (and Walls) On view through Oct. 3 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.

Click HERE to view available artwork by VONN SUMNER.

VONN SUMNER’s solo “Bread and Circuses (and Walls)”

24 Aug