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T.L. Solien: Bringing Figurative Art Back

Sunday, November 28, 2010 · 1 Comment

Paintings by T.L. Solien who was born in Fargo, North Dakota and currently lives and teaches in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mixing abstraction, appropriated cartoons, and illustrations and images of homey, old-time interiors, the paintings create a haunting narrative blend of the domestic and the hallucinatory. – Ken Johnson, New York Times art critic (2004)

Solien’s dark, figurative work has been highly-regarded since the 70’s. In fact, his work resides in some of the best institutions in the country including The Whitney and The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art held a 25-year retrospective of the artist in 2008.

So, in many ways Solien does not fit the typical Art Hound profile: his work is certainly not affordable and he’s had a long and remarkably-successful career. Despite these discrepancies, I’ve chosen to showcase his work because of the common threads (figurative, experience-based, pop culture references) between his work and that of many young artists today.

Taking a step back, we recall how out-of-vogue figurative art was twenty or thirty years ago, but today a new generation of artists has returned to figurative art making, taking cues from graphic novels and pop culture. Although this is only speculation, I wonder if Solien’s prescient work hasn’t in some small way contributed to this renewed interest in the narrative.


Tags: Art

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Paula O'Brien // Dec 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    This caught my eye and thanks for bringing this artist to my attention. I have a free figurative artist directory with over 400 international fine artists and fine craftsmen all with a love of the human form in art. I’m enjoying your quirky blog and may put it on the blogroll for our blog. Cheers! Paula

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