Ford Crull

oil, oil stick and graphite on paper
12 x 9 in
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About the Artist

Ford Crull

“The ambiguity of the image is central to my expression in art. The derivation of my symbols, pulled out from the oceanic flow of an unconscious, devolved dream state, reflects a necessity for metamorphosis and recombination that deprives the image of any safe haven. Rather, my images are involved in a perpetual dance, a narrative flow that destroys any preconceived notions or verbal meanings. The viewer is free to associate around the visual text which I present, supplying his own interpretations from his own experiences. Ambiguity of the image forces the viewer into a more intensive study of the work, so that the deeper layers of reality are unveiled, revealing the many facets of an idea, the many levels of its nature. This is the real pleasure of my painting: to present a tableau of associations, an unceasing unfolding of meanings, to offer a glimpse of a more universal state of consciousness, unbound by the limitations of time and convention.” - Ford Crull


There is a strong element of the diarist in the work, with each painting serving as a kind of painterly journal of reflections and reveries, set loose from their origins in specific events. In a wider sense, these paintings constitute a kind of intensive search to wrest meaning from anarchy of feeling. As meditations on emotional chaos, they enter into a world of competing impulses and simultaneous transmissions, seeking a resolution that is both cathartic and mysterious.


Ford Crull was raised in Seattle, where he graduated from the University of Washington. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, Dayton Art Institute, and the Brooklyn Museum. His paintings were included in the important 1989 Moscow exhibition, “Painting after the Death of Painting,” curated by Donald Kuspit. Recent exhibitions have included shows in London, Milan, Italy, New York City, Shanghai and Seattle.


Watch to learn more about Ford Crull from an interview in Shanghai

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