Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    New York artist brings work to on-campus gallery


    A New York artist will exhibit his drawings and paintings in Sarah Moody Gallery of Art beginning Aug. 23 and will speak about his artistic transformation on Sept. 5 in 205 Gorgas Library.

    “I’ve been doing art as far as I can remember,” artist Brian Novatny said. “I’ve been drawing since I was about two. Off and on, I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist.”

    Since his first show in Columbus, Ohio in the early 1990s, Novatny has transformed his work from single figures with a focus on the “undramatic” to the more expressive pieces he focuses on today.

    “The last two or three years have been more focused on paper, so I can work more on a whim,” Novatny said. “With ink, you are set with what you have. Sometimes things don’t go the way you want, and for me, that can be more fruitful.”

    With his current medium of ink and paper, Novatny has rediscovered ideas which inspired him as a child, such as battle scenes and comic books.

    “I have become reacquainted with something I’d lost in my older work,” Novatny said. “I am letting my artistic hair down, which worked out, hopefully, to my favor, as I started to address something more personal.”

    His most recent ink and paper renderings, Novatny said, can often dictate themselves. Novatny enjoys the permanency of ink, as opposed to pencil, and often finishes the work even after a “mistake.”

    “By laying down a path I didn’t anticipate going down, another idea emerges,” Novatny said. “If something happens, I tend to work through it and try to see what else I can come up with, and that can be more exciting. I like throwing a wrench into the work, so to speak.”

    Novatny has recently begun working with a gallery in New York City called Mulherin + Pollard.

    “John Pollard had seen this newest work of mine and decided to take me on as one of his artists,” Novatny said. “I had known him for a number of years, and he was familiar with my work, but this latest work struck a chord with him.”

    This is Novatny’s first exhibition at a university, one in which he is excited to participate.

    “For me, it is appealing because there is no filter as to what can be shown,” Novatny said. “There is no financial risk involved. It’s a pure sense of exhibiting one’s work. For me, that is greatly appealing.”

    Novatny believes it is good to bring artists from art capitols such as New York City to cities that may not get as much attention in the art world.

    “It introduces students and faculty to possible influences and other insights into work that you may not see on a regular basis,” Novatny said.

    Nathan Cash, a sophomore majoring in biology, said it is important to expose students to outside artists at on-campus gallery exhibitions.

    “From a school that is mostly in tune with southern sports culture, it is nice to see different areas of campus thrive,” Cash said.

    The Sarah Moody Gallery will feature 17 years of Novatny’s work entitled “Catch and Release: Brian Novatny, Selected Paintings and Drawings” from Aug. 23 to Sept. 21. The lecture will be Sept. 5 in 205 Gorgas Library at 7 p.m. and an opening reception Sept. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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