"I want to move people with the passion expressed in my work"
Kimmy Cantrell channels a new paradigm in ceramic sculpture. Through this artist eyes the world undergoes a metamorphosis centered on the contrasting, asymmetrical aspect of his compositions. Landscapes take on human form and lumps of clay become vivid abstract figures. Visions from his very soul manifest as striking ceramic faces, still life, and nudes creating imagery that beckons the viewer to see the world through an unorthodox lens. The results allow Cantrell to masterfully manipulate the clay to convey poignant narratives, producing an unmistakably profound emotional power in his ceramic sculpture.
Like many of this country’s great Southern folk artists, including sculptor William Edmondson, Cantrell pursued his artistic mission later in life after a successful business career. A self taught artist with continued persistence, Cantrell has been a dedicated professional artist since 1994. A native Georgian, his ceramic sculptures glistens with complex and sophisticated elements of Cubism and Primitivism.
Kimmy Cantrell counterbalances seemingly irreconcilable elements to create pleasing compositions. The contrasting, asymmetrical aspect of his compositions challenge traditional definitions of beauty. His idea is to show the beauty within flaws. In his own words, "Imperfections tell stories far more compelling than perfection. I’ve always loved primitive art, and I try to reflect that raw, primitive style in my own interpretations. Some of my work is tribal, and some is more universal. We all have roots, and the roots tend to come out in the works we create.” Written in the eyes and titles, vibrantly colored faces tell stories which reflect the artist own experiences. Another signature of Kimmy's work is his series of mixed media collages. The unique composition of elements such as clay, copper and sometimes stainless steel evolved from his series of masks.
Cantrell’s ceramic sculpture has won numerous awards and is exhibited at many American galleries and major events, including New York's prestigious National Black Fine Art Show and International Art Expo. He's appeared on FOX TV's Good Day Atlanta and in regional and national publications such as Art & Antiques Magazine, Images, and the Washington Post magazine. In 2006 Kimmy was published in “Unveiled, Photography by Will Downing and Fine Art By New and Emerging African American Artists”. Recently Cantrell was commissioned by Ruth Chris Steak House to produce large sculpture for locations in California and Florida. Kimmy’s work can be found in private collections across the United States and abroad including musicians Terrence Blanchard and Jill Scott.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-922-4800 E-mail: email@example.com
Philadelphia, PA – May 23, 2007 – ArtJaz Gallery is pleased to present artist, Kimmy Cantrell
and artist, Verna Hart in “Kindred Spirits” an exhibition of Ceramic sculpture, Paintings and Mixed Media.
This exhibit will be on display June – through July 14, 2007. An Artist reception will be held on Friday,
June 1st, 5-8pm.
Kindred Spirits is the artistic vision of two outstanding artists with different mediums yet their synergy and energy can be felt by all audiences. This exhibition is a creative blend of two and three dimensional works of art by Kimmy Cantrell and Verna Hart.
Verna Hart’s watercolor paintings are filled with the rhythmic beat of the city whether depicted in images of musicians or people walking the streets of Harlem in the rain such as in the painting, “Precipitation”. Hart a native New Yorker has always believed in documenting “places and spaces in time”. In her recent “Harlem” series, which includes “Precipitation”, the focus is on memories of the past and observations and the feel of Harlem today. This series captures the vibrancy and moods of life in the city. In addition to this representational work, Hart has embarked upon an artistic journey into mixed media abstraction with the use of her favorite medium, watercolor. Her abstract paintings demonstrate both incredible control while at the same time expressing incredible freedom. These abstract works flow with a river of color and complex beauty. Verna Hart studied at Pratt Institute, NYC where she earned her MFA. Hart was one of the last artists to be mentored by Master African-American Artist, Romare Bearden before his death in 1988. Hart has exhibited throughout the United States and is in prominent public and private collections, Sara Lee Corporation, North Carolina, Atlantic County Art Collection, New Jersey, Carillon Importers Ltd, NJ, Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, Former Governor of NJ, Jim Florio, among many others.
Kimmy Cantrell’s asymmetrical aspect of his compositions challenges the traditional definitions of beauty. Cantrell believes “Imperfections tell stories that are far more compelling than perfection”. His ceramic (clay) sculptures focus on three forms, faces, still life and female nudes. The elements of clay, copper and sometimes stainless steel can be found in many of his pieces. Colorful, textural and complex, his works tell stories of his personal life experiences and that of others. Largely self-taught, Cantrell has worked as a full time professional artist for over fifteen years. Cantrell’s works are unique and passionate with an aspect of primitive African art. Kimmy Cantrell has been recognized for his unique works through numerous awards and he has appeared in articles in such prestigious publications as Art & Antiques Magazine and the Washington Post Magazine. Cantrell was recently commissioned to create two large sculptures for the well known Ruth Chris Steak House Corporation for their Florida and California restaurants. Cantrell’s ceramic sculpture and ceramic framed works can be found in private collections throughout the United States.
“Kindred Spirits” exhibition with Kimmy Cantrell and Verna Hart will be on exhibit June1- through July 14, 2007. An Artist reception will be held on Friday, June 1, 5PM – 8PM. For more information call 215-922-4800 or visit www. artjaz.com. ArtJaz Gallery is located at 53 N. Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
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