Howard Scott Gallery is pleased to announce the opening - on Thursday, 3 November - of its sixth one-person exhibition by Fred Stonehouse. The recent works that will compose the exhibition include examples of all of the artist’s painting formats, as well as works on paper. The artist stated to the writer Thomas Connors, who was interviewing him in 2000, [My work] “does come together in a rather esoteric fashion, but I like to think there’s enough narrative element there, there’s enough suggestion, there’s enough imagery that people can find a window into it”.
His work is a rich brew of disparate elements, both visual and psychological. The artist readily admits his tendency - and need? - to include elements of his many inspirations and enthusiasms in an individual work. These can include references to his Catholic upbringing, his enthusiasm for specific periods of European and New World art (notably Sienese paintings), fragments of language (not always that of his native tongue - to slow down the reading of the work), and complex compositional layering of portraiture, landscape, and abstract passages which - again - necessitate a more prolonged reading of both the narrative implications and the formal structure of an individual work. Most important to him, it should be noted, is keeping his work open to many interpretations and keeping it engaging and lively. “I hope the work is complex enough that it does raise questions. If it doesn’t, what’s the point of looking at it?”
Fred Stonehouse began exhibiting publicly in 1982. Ten years later, he was honored with his first solo exhibition in a museum, The Madison Art Center (Wisconsin), and the show traveled to the Chicago Cultural Center [catalogue essay by Eleanor Heartney]. His work has been seen in a solo show context with regularity in his native city, Milwaukee, and in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for more than twelve years. In 2000, the exhibition space, inova, at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, mounted an extensive exhibition of his work. That same year, he had his first solo exhibition outside the U.S. - in Puebla, Mexico, fittingly a country whose cultural heritage has enriched his sensibility as an artist.