I met a genius on the train today about 6 years old, he sat beside me and as the train ran down along the coast we came to the ocean and then he looked at me and said, it’s not pretty.
it was the first time I’d realized that.
Mixed Greens is thrilled to announce Howard Fonda’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. In his eponymously titled exhibition, he will exhibit a new series of abstract oil paintings.
Bukowski’s poem, I Met A Genius, describes a moment of seeing things for what they really are—overcoming assumptions and formal education to reveal truths. Fonda is searching for those moments in painting by pushing himself to navigate color and form with fresh eyes that not only reveal beauty, but its opposite. The mark making is riskier, the colors more natural, and the paint thicker and more dense. He is intuitively going back to basics, where a large palette and a blank canvas are the main protagonists. They are paintings.
Since Fonda began making paintings, he has been on a quest for sincerity and truth in mark making. That exploration has inspired him to paint still lifes, portraits, patterns, even recreate Manet’s last flower paintings, and paint a series of trees in an attempt to blur the boundaries between representation and abstraction. To the viewer, these new works may have connections to stained glass, portraits, or landscapes. To Fonda, they are full of the effort required to make something effortless. In this new body of work, Fonda relies on color and form alone to reach out of his comfort zone and into a space where successes and failures coexist. The finished works reveal his process and his never-ending search.
Howard Fonda received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His first solo show, “…with love,” was at Mixed Greens, New York City. Since then, he has shown widely with solo shows at ebersmoore, Chicago, IL; Light & Sie Gallery, Dallas, TX; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL; Harwood Art Center in Albuquerque, NM; and Duchess, Chicago, IL. In 2009, his solo exhibition at Chicago’s Roots and Culture received a review in ArtForum. Other exhibition venues include The South Bend Art Museum, South Bend, IN; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Raid Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Bodybuilder and Sportsman, Chicago, IL; and Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, TX. He was also a founding member and co-director of The Pond, a curatorial triumvirate that organized exhibitions in a storefront in Chicago’s Westtown from 2002-2004. Before moving to Scottsdale, Arizona, Howard was an instructor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.