|"Warrior (Fallen)" oil on panel 14.25" x 12" 2011|
|"Warrior (Slouching)" oil on panel 15" x 11.75" 2011|
|"Amnesiac" oil on linen 47" x 47" 2011|
|"Sienna" oil on canvas 50" x 70" 2008|
|study for "Lookout" watercolor on paper|
Interestingly Von Sumner describes his art education as developing backward historically, first learning about abstraction and expressionism which were well entrenched "establishment" forms at the time. Then gradually working back to the renaissance and (importantly) beyond. He describes his encounters with the content of that world vividly in an interview. Much of painting throughout pre-modern history is symbolic, often with a very precise visual vocabulary. And most of that visual vocabulary is alien to us now, meaningless without historical annotation. But Sumner says that "the very inaccessibility to those meanings draws me to them." And so "It’s about creating a pictorial and emotional, psychological space for the viewer to have an experience and if the experience is linear or literal or verbal then I don’t get what I want from it." Icons of ambiguity if you will. Works for me.
The strength of his work builds as you look through more and more of it so please, go spend some time on his website: www.vonnsumner.com