Lora Schlesinger is pleased to announce Raymond Saunders’ ninth solo exhibition with the gallery. …not wanting a title features new vibrant and energized paintings and collages. The exhibition opens with the artists reception on Saturday, September 15 from 5 – 7 pm and is on view through October 27, 2012.
Well known for his use of enigmatic symbols, personal scribbles and found objects Saunders creates an artistic language out of the cast-offs of urban culture. Objects such as checkered boards, rolls of paper, unique frames and doily’s all find their way onto his signature solid colored backgrounds. His paintings, assemblages, and drawings combine compulsive splashes of color, delicate line drawings, origami, photographs and newspaper clippings onto a single surface. His work offers a poetic depiction of what it is like to live in an urban city and to struggle for one’s unique identity.
Saunders’ prolific works on paper, canvas and wood are poetic, engaging, narrative, humorous, skillful, childlike and wise. Each piece reveals a glimpse into his exploration of personal identity, racism, family, poverty and death. Independent and strong-willed, Saunders’ work rests in the gaps of art history, rather than sit neatly within the bounds of artistic categories. A refined and unclassifiable voice, Saunders’ work transcends definition. For, to classify him is to take away his voice.
Raymond Saunders studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, earning a B.F.A at Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1960. In 1961, he received a M.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Saunders has received multiple awards such as the Prix de Rome, 1964-1966, and the National Endowment for the Arts Award in 1977 and 1984, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976. His work is held in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.