Merry Karnowsky Gallery

Vonn Sumner: This Makes Sense

Vonn Sumner: This Makes Sense

sleepwalker by vonn sumner

Vonn Sumner

Sleepwalker, 2008

Price on Request

Saturday, August 11, 2012Saturday, September 1, 2012


Los Angeles, CA USA

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 11, 8-11pm

Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present This Makes Sense, a solo exhibition by Vonn Sumner. Subtle in color but bold in content, Sumner’s characters are isolated, absurd, engaging, and somehow quietly common-place. More adventurous than his predecessors, Vonn Sumner has no fear of placing characters out of context as their masked facades suggest deeper meaning.

Mentored by renowned artist Wayne Thiebaud, one can see the tradition of subtle form and beauty accentuated by the simplicity of execution.

Extremely recognizable in his style of painting, Vonn Sumner creates puzzling, ambiguous, and theatrical scenes contained within singular gestures.

“My paintings are an attempt to bring together seemingly contradictory elements: the observable outer world and the subjective inner world; the formal possibilities of non-objective painting and the psychological possibilities of representational painting; seriousness and humor; artifice and authenticity; revealing and concealing.

The figures in my work are often costumed, mostly on their heads, and all of the props are real objects made by the artist for the sake of the paintings. I am drawn to the shapes these things create, as well as the symbolic potential they carry. I do not set out to illustrate some pre-determined verbal idea, nor do I intend any one specific literal or didactic message. Instead, I trust and follow my instincts and compulsions to work with particular poses, shapes, and relationships and to explore the emotional and psychological territory that unfolds. Through this process of drawing and painting I develop a personal vocabulary that attempts to reconcile the exterior objective world with my subjective experience of it. I am interested in the potential of art to create one’s own mythologies.

The colors and tone of the paintings are drawn from the specific qualities of Southern California: the stark light, the faded concrete freeways and buildings, the intense beauty of the coastline.”

– Vonn Sumner

Vonn Sumner obtained his Master of Fine Arts from University of California, Davis. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, as well as, in London and Italy, and has been published in Art Ltd., LA Weekly, NY Arts Magazine, and New American Paintings among many others.

For more information, please contact Merry Karnowsky at mkgallery@att.net, 323.933.4408

Press Contact: Jessica O’Dowd jessica@mkgallery.com