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The Sylvia White Gallery is now showing an exhibition of Don Ed Hardy’s paintings. The show runs February 21-April 1st 2012.

The paintings in Don Ed Hardy’s upcoming show at Sylvia White Gallery evolved from the monumental 4 x 500 foot work 2000 Dragons, executed in the millennial year (a Dragon Year in the Asian zodiac). This was a decisive turning point for the artist in its scale and expansive gesture, as he had spent the previous four decades in near-daily practice with the obsessive precision of intaglio printmaking, lithography, tattooing, and careful watercolors. The mission goal of making two thousand dragons with no preplanned composition freed Hardy up to explore pure abstract elements along with recognizable forms. The spontaneous works since then continue to develop intuitively at the moment of painting.
The big scroll was executed with acrylic on archival synthetic paper, which was available in huge rolls. Featherweight and durable, it was the most practical solution for a work of immense scale. The saturation of pigment into paper as an instantaneous indelible record-with little or no over painting-continues and amplifies Hardy’s works with metal plates, sumi ink, and skin. The current works further explore pure autographic expressive gesture.

Immersed in Western as well as Asian art history, aesthetics, and theories of brushwork, Hardy has a long relationship with living and working in Japan. Along with the paintings are a new series of small porcelain sculptures. Made in collaboration with ceramist Trevor Ewald, these extend Hardy’s work done during several visits to Arita, Japan. There, at the invitation of a traditional kiln, he glazed production wares with unexpected themes, extending and subverting venerable tradition. The new ceramics are inspired by a series of his late ’90s paintings featuring garment forms from 15th and 16th century Northern European engravings (first studied in his undergraduate days at the San Francisco Art Institute) to which he added components of tattoo and pop themes.

Mr. Hardy graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1967 with a BFA in printmaking. He retired from tattooing in 2006 and now divides his time between San Francisco and Honolulu with frequent trips to Japan to work in porcelain and study its visual culture.

The artist will be in attendance for the opening reception, Saturday, February 25. The Sylvia White Gallery is located at 1783 E Main St in Ventura and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 11am to 5pm. For more information, please call 805-643-8300.

To see the Google Plus photo gallery of all the paintings, please click

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