Berry Campbell is pleased to announce its representation of Mike Solomon (b. 1956). Solomon has exhibited widely throughout the United States at museums, galleries, and art fairs and is currently included in the important exhibition, “Defining Abstraction” curated by Mark Ormond at the Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida. Commenting on a 2012 solo exhibition at Salomon Contemporary, New York, Helen Harrison stated, "His art embodies fundamental qualities that he perceives in nature, for which he creates aesthetic analogies. Without imitating those qualities he captures their essence, pins it down and offers it as a gift to those who take the time to receive it.”
Solomon studied at the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in Maine (1975) and continued his studies at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, Connecticut (1978). He spent the rest of 1978 in New York City studying independently with noted artists Ray Parker and David Budd. In 1979, Solomon earned his Bachelor of Arts at the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara where he studied with Charles Garabedian and John McCracken. Additionally, he served as studio assistant to John Chamberlain, James Brooks, Charlotte Park and Alfonso Ossorio. In 1989, Solomon earned his Masters of Fine Art at Hunter College, New York.
Mike Solomon became fascinated with the grid early in his career and it continues to be a central structural element in his paintings and sculpture. Janet Goleas wrote that Solomon’s grids are reductive aesthetically, but not without emotion, “And so, contained in Solomon's grid work are the moments, memories and the small poetries that function at the edges of actuality. That subtle piercing into the fabric of memory is one of the mainstays of his oeuvre.”
Through the years, as Solomon has explored various subjects and used materials such as roplex, acrylic and beeswax, a consistent through-line has been his interest in transparency, which the artist has said is foundational to his work. His oldest running series are the plein-air "Meteorological Watercolors" that depict the ocean with specific references to the time, date and atmospherics to the location. More recently, Solomon has created large-scale translucent sculptures made with fiberglass and resin and the fluid grid of nylon netting, which abstractly suggest water wave shapes while referencing post-minimalist influences.
Solomon’s exploration with translucency continues in his new work. While the objects appear to have two dimensions, they are composites of transparent layers of paper tinted with watercolors. Some works have as many as a dozen layers. The polished surface allows a view into the layered depths and as these depths are actual and not illusion, the works could be considered flat sculptures. These elegant aggregations of brush marks form abstract compositions of ethereal floating colors. They fuse and dissipate before one’s eyes, evoking emotion, memory and time.
In 2011, Alice Aycock chose Solomon for the acclaimed biennial exhibition “Artists Choose Artists” at the Parrish Art Museum, Watermill, New York. His first solo exhibition was held in 1979 at the University of California Santa Barbara, followed by one-artist shows at the Queens Museum of Art, New York (1988), Hunter College, New York (1989), and the Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York (1999). In 2001, Solomon participated as an artist and advisor in "Surfs Up," the first show of its kind on surfing culture in New York curated by the late John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton. Other artists in the show were Richard Prince, Julian Schnabel, Ashley Bickerton and Michael Halsband. Solomon has also been included in shows curated by Mary Heilmann. Rob Edleman and Blair Voltz Clark.
He has participated in group exhibitions at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, New York, Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey, Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee, Selby Gallery at the Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida and the Telfair Art Museum, Savannah, Georgia.
Mike Solomon is included in numerous esteemed private collections including those of Edward Albee, Beth Rudin deWoody, Dan Flavin, Jr., Tom and Darlene Furst, Richard Meier, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Prince and Priscilla Rattazzi Whittle. Selected public collections include Barnett Bank, Tampa, Florida, Cantor Fitzgerald Collection, New York, New York, Columbia Museum, Columbia, South Carolina, J Crew, New York, New York, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, and the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida. Solomon has twice been the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2001 and 2012. He currently has studios on the North Fork of Long Island and in Sarasota, Florida.
© Berry Campbell, New York