Laurence Channing at Bonfoey
Many artists question the relevance and objectivity of their craft. Why do we make art? What constitutes “great” art? How does my work confirm or subvert the ideas of my time and place?
Laurence Channing’s long and prestigious career has given him cause to explore these questions. As a predominantly representational artist, Channing is cognizant of the biases against realism in the art world today. Gone are the days when exceptional rendering is the barometer for “great” art. Now, when political statements or vulgar shock command attention, Channing asks, what standard can we hold to these drastically different attempts to communicate an idea? His answer is style; the evident individuality of a single voice. In this way Channing excels.
Known for his distinct charcoal drawing techniques, Laurence Channing creates dreamlike visions of Cleveland residential and lake landscapes. His contrary delineation— mark-making that is at once blurred and exacting—persuades us that we are seeing images from our own memory. Thick with atmosphere, and devoid of the figure, Channing’s drawings lead the viewer into a place with the haunting familiarity of a home without family, of a beacon cast out to an empty expanse. We are transported to a time and place where we are alone with our thoughts; penetrated only by the stillness and emptiness our intense introspection creates.
Laurence Channing received a BFA and MFA from Yale University. Numerous solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the William Busta Gallery during the 1990s and The Bonfoey Gallery since 2000. Channing is also currently represented by Reeves Contemporary in New York City. His work has been featured in museums across the country including the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, MOCA Cleveland, and the Akron Art Museum. Channing is a three-time recipient of the Ohio Individual Artist Fellowship, the Cleveland Arts Prize in 2000, and the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Creative Workforce Fellowship in 2009. His works have been included in many private and corporate collections including The Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, and Progressive Insurance.