Mike Solomon: Native Shore
Mike Solomon's exhibition "Native Shore" focuses on the artist's return to his "native shore" and hometown of Sarasota. Opening on March 15 at Alfstad& Contemporary, the exhibition runs through April 14, 2018.
Solomon's newest work celebrates his return to Sarasota after almost forty years living away. "In my youth the shoreline was my point of orientation, my home. I became a 'water person' and my subsequent work has always - in one way or another - referred to the element of water. The shore is where I go almost every day and where I feel most at peace."
Sarasota is flat and encompassed by water, and looking out from the shore the water and sky meet in a fusion of color and light. "The horizontal line is the perfect icon for this place, so I chose to make paintings using only horizontal stripes," says Solomon. "Each colored stripe indicates both what I have outwardly observed and inwardly felt."
The resplendent light of the neotropics radiates from the paintings and editions, drawing viewers into vibrant aqueous colors and translucent depths, the rhythmic rise and fall of the horizon. "Pick any line to orient yourself and you will see what is above and below," says Solomon, "but as you look things change, just like when you approach the horizon. Strong colors soften as they get layered behind newer colors, as older experiences fade because of new perspectives."
Solomon's assemblage process involves both chance and artistic deliberation. The horizontal bands of color are placed at intervals on multiple sheets of frosted polyester film. The various sheets are then assembled in layers. This gives the work the characteristic qualities of translucence and diffusion that Solomon has explored throughout his career. The work displayed in "Native Shore" also has a remarkable prismatic quality as Solomon separates light into its constituent spectral colors and then reforms and recombines it. The process gathers formal visual relationships and autobiographical referents, which together form these elegant works of art.
Solomon's recent work has been collected by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota and by Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, New York.