Don Munson

Longmeadow, MA

Artist Statement

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Grounded in the joy of expression, my art unifies multiple themes from archaeological to multicultural, religious and secular, with bio-morfic graphic imagery.

Painting for me is the tension between realism and abstraction, balancing geometric forms, symbols, line and color. For over forty five years creating works of art from post
impressionistic landscapes, to architectural facades and beyond to abstract symbolism. The works are a cohesive integration of many aspects of my creative life.

Traveling in the southwest studying mimbre pottery along with many ruins of other cultures. Their icons, symbolic images and various pottery shards evolved to a group of drawings and paintings. Then Architecturally driven by form details and unique color New York City facades my ‘Brownstones’ group. Moving to California the ‘Alphabet Series’ derived from seven of my published original type fonts, ultimately ‘Barn Projects’ in Longmeadow before the ‘Panels’ series .... I believe it is not just what you see but feel inside.

‘Panels’ are allegorical visuals as with all my works, containing realistic references with abstract and original type designs that are fused for impact. Inspired by the art of Albers, Matisse, Klee, Noland, Hoffman and Malevich to acknowledge a few. This series led to a new dynamic group, ‘Stations’, eight large vertical paintings.

‘Stations’ are multiple visual stimuli, a secular abstract view of a religious passage. The tension balances many geometric forms, and symbols driven by metallic and classic colors. These paintings are a cohesive visual integration of many biblical passages.

Each allegory contains graphic elements that are fused for impact. Color always dominates imagery for the viewer to discover, ponder, tense yet beautiful. Provoking questions as individuals meditate on answers.

Garden, for example is part of that symbolic passage. It is the second of the eight ‘Stations’, communicating the Christian passion.

The greek letter Psi echoes as a form, a visual paranormal presence. That iconic letterform is balanced by a leaf like shape. That Ginkgo leaf dominates
yet echos, revealing its’ resilience and adaptability. These symbolic tensions forebode the darkness of Gethsemane.

Beyond ‘Stations’ the next series is based on circles and squares. The sequences of these two primary forms are inlaid with lines and triangles. Multimedia using prismacolor and oils on paper. Reflecting the dots and dashes of ‘Morse Code’.

Ultimately I am now driven to create works in a huge range of paintings and drawings focusing on the early Runic letterforms expressed the purity of form and color. The ongoing process of my paintings, for me always evolving, sublime. Joy.

The works that I create are to be lived with, to stimulate new visual insights. I see them as “... sentences toward a self." Enjoy!