Alan Van Every was born in Buffalo NY. He went to SUNY College at Buffalo for his BFA in painting and graduated in 1984. He also attended the University of New York at Buffalo from 1990 until 1992 in the MFA program for a dual major in painting and sculpture. In 1991, along with artist Katrin Jurati, he founded and ran the non-profit space Big Orbit Gallery, which still exists today. While in Buffalo, Alan exhibited his work at the Albright-Knox, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, David Anderson Gallery and Hallwalls.
In 1994, Alan moved to the Bowery in New York City. There, he worked for many-well known artists including Dennis Oppenheim, Louisa Chase and Nancy Chunn; and for galleries and museums such as Gorney Bravin + Lee, Mary Boone and Grey Gallery at New York University. He had a one-person show at Ahra Lee Gallery in 1998, and was included in group shows at various venues.
After living in New York for 12 years, wanting a change, Alan moved to Seoul, Korea where for the first three months he was an artist-in-residence at The National Art Studio at Changdong, administered by The National Museum of Contemporary Art. In early 2008, Alan vacationed in Thailand, and moved there shortly afterward. He has since been residing in Bangkok, and has been included in a few group shows there and in Tokyo within the last year.
Alan views himself primarily as a painter, although much of his work is three-dimensional. Abstract, brightly colored, and biomorphic in nature, his pieces are modified objects, or rectangular/square paintings, which are painted thickly, and often have reflective qualities.
Abstract painting and sculpture are conceptual things and should be understood that way. Ideas about what an artist does should always have a conceptual element. Clever concepts are cute but usually kind of shallow.
The artist is a conduit to meaning but doesn't have to know what they are trying to get at. Each piece has a element that may or may not be along the lines of what the artist intends but that may not be what a viewer is going to get from it. One has unlimited options in this maker role. Freedom and adherence to a dogma or set of rules is a short cut to clearness but also has inherent limitations. One has to be open and free. If a limitation makes a piece work, that is a good option but the goal, to me is more about stretching beyond. It makes for original and stronger work.
I like stupid things, I think that having unlimited goals is kind of an absurd and unrealistic expectation. Looking for the unexpected is much more of a challenge, it also becomes a learning and discovering process.
Not everything is a fresh start as we all have experiences that give us insight. We are not alone or on an island of no visual language or vocabulary in the history of art, so we need to find and occupy a niche, at least as far as each individual piece is concerned. It certainly doesn't mean we have to stay there in the next piece.
What is stupid looking in the past, may lead to new articulations. Everyone is faced with using the same visual elements to make sense but the real quality of a work is the combination of elements and the unexpected reasoning behind those.
Knowing yourself and doing what you feel you know best, is a way to find new things when it is repeated but looking for the absurd in the search can open the vision and give new pathways.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
1990 - 1993 Big Orbit Gallery, Buffalo NY, Founder, Director, Curator
1992 M.F.A. Program, State University Of New York at Buffalo, Painting and Sculpture
1984 B.F.A. Program, State University of New York College at Buffalo, Painting
UPCOMING SOLO SHOW
Feb.6 thru. Mar.10, 2013 Theory of Everything, Hiromart Gallery
2012 Hiromart Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, Theory Of Everything
2005 The National Art Studio at Changdong, Seoul, Korea Works at Changdong
2001 Virgin Atlantic Lounge, Newark N.J. Fictions
1998 Ahra Lee Gallery, New York, N.Y. Recent Paintings
1995 Deep Space Gallery, New York, NY Fiction
1993 The Burchfield Art Center, Buffalo, NY The Next Big Thing
1992 Upton Hall Gallery, S.U.N.Y. College at Buffalo, Exhibition Space
1988 Daemen College Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Objective Subject
1986 Theater Place Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Derailed
1984 Gallery 229 S.U.N.Y. College at Buffalo, The Oblong Box - A Painting Installation
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2012 H Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand, Conflicts of Interest curated by Brian Curtain (March 15 - April 30)
2012 Motus Fort, Tokyo, Japan, Spring Has Sprung
2011 Motus Fort, Tokyo, Japan, No One in Particular, Except…
2006 The National Art Studio at Changdong, Seoul, Korea Open Studio
2005 Burchfield- Penny Art Center, Buffalo NY, Abstraction
2005 Paula Barr Space, New York, NY, New York Art Generation
2004 Times Square Lobby Gallery, New York, NY Art Around The Park Continuum,
2003 & 2004 Thomson Square Park, New York, NY, Art Around The Park
2002 University of Buffalo's Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, NY Big Orbit Gallery, Ten Years of Spin in Western New York Art
1998 Ahra Lee Gallery, New York, NY Elasticity
1995 Deep Space Gallery New York, NY Word
1995 Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY Young Artists
1994 Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA Artscape: Billboard Project
1992 Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, NY X-Sightings
1990 The Artists Gallery, Buffalo, NY Interactive and Kinetic Video and Sculpture
1988 Goldome Bank, Buffalo, NY The Toy Show Curated by Nina Frudenheim
1986 Albright - Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY 41st Western New York Exhibition
1985 - 1989 More - Rubin Gallery, Buffalo, NY Gallery Artists
1984 Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY Personal Effects
AWARDS, GRANTS AND RESIDENCIES
2005 The National Art Studio at Changdong, administered by The National Museum of Contemporary Art; 3 month residency, Seoul, Korea
1991 - 1992 Teaching Assistantship Award, S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo
1986 41st Western New York Exhibition, Award for Sculpture
1984 Arts and Humanities Grant, Oblong Box S.U.N.Y. College at Buffalo
2012 Short story included and did the illustrations (which were pictures of works by him from the last 20 years) for the “2011 Anthology of New Asian Writing” http://www.new-asian-writing.com
2005 The National Art Studio at Changdong, administered by The National Museum of Contemporary Art catalog
2002 University of Buffalos Anderson Gallery, Big Orbit Gallery, Ten Years of Spin in Western New York Art catalog essay Elizabeth Licata
1996 Art Business News, Emmett Murphy, Wall Street Beckons
1995 NY Daily News, Peter Grant Downtown Gets Urban Pioneers
1992 Art Voice, Laurie Miller, The Big Next Thing
1992 The Buffalo News, Richard Huntington, X-Sightings
The Buffalo News, Richard Huntington, Big Orbit Curators Take a Small is Beautiful Approach
1986 The Buffalo News, Richard Huntington, W.N.Y. at the Albright Knox
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS CURATED
1995 Deep Space Gallery NYC, NY Word - Language in Contemporary Art
1992 Big Orbit Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Paul Sharits: Word Paintings and Fluxus Pieces
Castellani Art Museum, Niagara Falls, NY Sherlock Homes/ Re-Max Reality, Buffalo, NY
Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY Key Bank Buffalo, NY