Paul Thiebaud Gallery

Vonn Sumner: Paintings

Vonn Sumner: Paintings

warrior by vonn sumner

Vonn Sumner

Warrior, 2009

Price on Request

conspirator ii by vonn sumner

Vonn Sumner

Conspirator II, 2006

Price on Request

Tuesday, March 2, 2010Saturday, April 17, 2010

645 Chestnut Street
(between Columbus Avenue & Mason Street)

San Francisco, CA USA

San Francisco, California: The Paul Thiebaud Gallery is pleased to present Vonn Sumner: Paintings, on display from March 2 through April 17, 2010. Though Sumner’s work appeared in past group shows, including our Twenty-Five Treasures exhibition in 2008, this presentation marks his first solo show with our gallery. The paintings are pulled from an ongoing body of work dating as early as 2008. Ranging from medium to large formats, the contemporary, figurative paintings offer a fresh approach to realism.

Although Sumner is the subject of many of his paintings, he does not view them as traditional self-portraits. The guises the artist employs allow him to explore the idea of self. Depicting himself in oddly-shaped hats and masks allows him to become a sort of “Everyman.” He is revealing and concealing himself simultaneously. He likens the repeated use of himself as subject to the inanimate subjects of still life paintings. As he says, “I hoped that through sheer repetition, my own likeness would lose importance and become a generic or standard figure–– and maybe that came out of the idea of Morandi using those bottles and boxes over and over.”

Sumner often turns to his family and friends as muses for his paintings. The use of their likenesses is of great importance to the artist. By focusing on people who are meaningful in his life, he is able to be much more truthful.

Sumner is quite methodical in his process, drawing and painting several studies before achieving the final work. He gathers his information from life, photographs, and memory to create an almost dreamlike realism. Subdued colors and subtle tones dominate in Vonn Sumner’s contemplative paintings, a result of the time he spent in the industrial areas of Los Angeles. He takes inspiration from, “the infinate shades of gray from the concrete buildings and sidewalks and freeways and the way the sun fades all the paint off those things.”

Sumner names Morandi, Balthus, Puvis de Chevannes, de Kooning, Giacometti, Park, Rauch, Thiebaud and Guston amongst his many influences. He is drawn to painters who believe as he does, that all paintings and drawings of all time periods and cultures exist on a common plane.

Sumner received his first solo musuem show at the Riverside Museum in 2008. His second solo show will occur later this year at the Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA. He received his BA and MFA from UC Davis. He resides in State College, PA.

Reception - Tuesday, March 2, 2010 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; open to the public.