Burton Callicott

Line and Shadow: Estate Drawings

25 April – 19 May 2017
OPENING: Friday 28 April, 6-8pm

In late April David Lusk Gallery-Memphis presents never before exhibited drawings by renowned artist and educator Burton Callicott. The exhibition features lithographs, charcoal, and graphite works on paper ranging from the early sixties to late eighties.

In the mid-1930’s, after graduating from the Cleveland School of Art, Callicott began a lifelong interest in the depiction of light and shadow. Flattened perspectives and a nod towards Abstract Expressionism entered his work in the 1940’s after he became familiar with the work of Hans Hofmann, freeing him up to pursue the portrayal of light as a subject within itself.

The show’s title, “Line and Shadow”, speaks to the direct nature of each image. Teetering between representation and abstraction, negative and positive shapes fit together like singular puzzles to celebrate the stark contrast between light and shade.

Rarely seen, and never exhibited, Callicotts’s drawings and lithographs offer a view into the contemplative process of a search for beauty within the everyday. Opaque tree branches, geometric exteriors, and triangular shapes house the building blocks of an artist’s process, shedding light on the foundations that led to some of Callicott’s most successful paintings.

Devoid of color, the medium to small paper pieces that make up “Line and Shadow” also tell a story of age. Worn surfaces and subtle shifts in pigment adorn the delicate graphite and charcoal lines, meditating on the often-unnoticed relationship between surface and shadow. As Hans Hoffman said, “To sense the invisible and to be able to create it, that is art.”

Burton Callicott was a founding member of the Memphis College of Art in 1937, and was named Professor Emeritus in 1978. His work has been exhibited in numerous museums across the country. However, it is in Memphis where he built a large and devoted group of corporate and private collectors for his painstakingly created paintings.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 97 Tillman. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 11-4. For more information or visuals please contact Amelia Briggs at 901 767 3800 or amelia@davidluskgallery.com.

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