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Mike Solomon

Statement/Biography


Solomon has exhibited widely throughout the United States at museums, galleries, and art fairs and is currently included in the important exhibition, “Defining Abstraction” curated by Mark Ormond at the Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida.  Commenting on a 2012 solo exhibition at Salomon Contemporary, New York, Helen Harrison stated, "His art embodies fundamental qualities that he perceives in nature, for which he creates aesthetic analogies. Without imitating those qualities he captures their essence, pins it down and offers it as a gift to those who take the time to receive it.”

Solomon studied at the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in Maine (1975) and continued his studies at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, Connecticut (1978).  He spent the rest of 1978 in New York City studying independently with noted artists Ray Parker and David Budd. In 1979, Solomon earned his Bachelor of Arts at the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara where he studied with Charles Garabedian and John McCracken. Additionally, he served as studio assistant to John Chamberlain, James Brooks, Charlotte Park and Alfonso Ossorio. In 1989, Solomon earned his Masters of Fine Art at Hunter College, New York. 

Mike Solomon became fascinated with the grid early in his career and it continues to be a central structural element in his paintings and sculpture. Janet Goleas wrote that Solomon’s grids are reductive aesthetically, but not without emotion, “And so, contained in Solomon's grid work are the moments, memories and the small poetries that function at the edges of actuality. That subtle piercing into the fabric of memory is one of the mainstays of his oeuvre.”

Through the years, as Solomon has explored various subjects and used materials such as roplex, acrylic and beeswax, a consistent through-line has been his interest in transparency, which the artist has said is foundational to his work. His oldest running series are the plein-air "Meteorological Watercolors" that depict the ocean with specific references to the time, date and atmospherics to the location.  More recently, Solomon has created large-scale translucent sculptures made with fiberglass and resin and the fluid grid of nylon netting, which abstractly suggest water wave shapes while referencing post-minimalist influences.

Solomon’s exploration with translucency continues in his new work. While the objects appear to have two dimensions, they are composites of transparent layers of paper tinted with watercolors.  Some works have as many as a dozen layers. The polished surface allows a view into the layered depths and as these depths are actual and not illusion, the works could be considered flat sculptures.  These elegant aggregations of brush marks form abstract compositions of ethereal floating colors. They fuse and dissipate before one’s eyes, evoking emotion, memory and time.

In 2011, Alice Aycock chose Solomon for the acclaimed biennial exhibition “Artists Choose Artists” at the Parrish Art Museum, Watermill, New York.  His first solo exhibition was held in 1979 at the University of California Santa Barbara, followed by one-artist shows at the Queens Museum of Art, New York (1988), Hunter College, New York (1989), and the Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York (1999).  In 2001, Solomon participated as an artist and advisor in "Surfs Up," the first show of its kind on surfing culture in New York curated by the late John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton.  Other artists in the show were Richard Prince, Julian Schnabel, Ashley Bickerton and Michael Halsband. Solomon has also been included in shows curated by Mary Heilmann.  Rob Edleman and Blair Voltz Clark.

He has participated in group exhibitions at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, New York, Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey, Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee, Selby Gallery at the Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida and the Telfair Art Museum, Savannah, Georgia.

Mike Solomon is included in numerous esteemed private collections including those of Edward Albee, Beth Rudin deWoody, Dan Flavin, Jr., Tom and Darlene Furst, Richard Meier, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Prince and Priscilla Rattazzi Whittle.  Selected public collections include Barnett Bank, Tampa, Florida, Cantor Fitzgerald Collection, New York, New York, Columbia Museum, Columbia, South Carolina, J Crew, New York, New York, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, and the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.  Solomon has twice been the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2001 and 2012.   He currently has studios on the North Fork of Long Island and in Sarasota, Florida.

CV

b. 1956
1975, Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting, Skowhegan, Maine
1978, Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, Connecticut
1978, Independent study with Ray Parker and David Budd, New York, New York
1979, Bachelor of Arts, College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, California
1989 Masters of Fine Art, Hunter College, New York, New York

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Berry Campbell, New York, 2017.
Kathryn Markel Fine Art, Bridgehampton, NY, 2015
Alfstad & Contemporary, Sarasota, FL, 2015 


Allyn Gallup Contemporary, Sarasota, FL, 2014 
Salomon Contemporary, New York, NY, 2012
Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton, NY, 2008
John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton, NY, 2008
Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton, NY, 2006
Greene Contemporary, Sarasota, FL, 2006
The Green Barn, Sagaponack, NY, 2002
Heckscher Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY, 1999
Ann Harper Gallery, Amagansett, NY, 1996
Benton Gallery, Southampton, NY, 1993
Benton Gallery, Southampton, NY, 1992
Hunter College, New York, NY, 1989
Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY, 1988
Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY, 1986
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 1979

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Arksansas Art Center, Little Rock, "48th Collectors Show and Sale," 2016-17.
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida, "First 5 Years of Art of Our Time," 2016-17.
Art Wynwood, Miami, FL, Berry Campbell Gallery, February 12-16, 2016
Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, “Something,” Curated by Noah Becker, January 7- February 6, 2016
Allyn Gallup Contemporary, Sarasota, Florida, “Small and Big,” January, 2016
Art Silicon Valley, San Mateo, CA, Berry Campbell Gallery, October 9-11, 2015
Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, “Summer Selections,” June 30-September 14, 2015
Ringling College of Art and Design, Selby Gallery, Sarasota, FL, “Defining Abstraction,” July 10 – August 5, 2015
Allyn Gallup Contemporary, Sarasota, FL, “The Lightness of Being: Abstracts: Part 1,” May 1-June 13, 2015
Sara Nightingale Fine Art, Water Mill, NY, 2015
Hamptons Art Markt, Sara Nightingale Fine Art, Bridgehampton, NY, 2015
Allyn Gallup Contemporary, Sarasota, FL, “A Few Great, Big Pictures,” May 16-July 28, 2014
McNeill Art Group, Southampton, NY, “Mark Makers,” July 4- August 4, 2014 
Dallas Art Fair, Ashley Tatum Fine Art, Dallas, TX, 2013
Allyn Gallup Contemporary, Sarasota, FL  "Some Wonderful Abstractions," August 15- October 5, 2013
Devil's Heaven: The 20th Annual Watermill Center Benefit, Water Mill, NY, July 27, 2013
Hamptons Art Markt, Sara Nightingale Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY, July 11 – 14, 2013
Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY, “Artists & Writers They Played in the Game,”    June 15 - July 28, 2013
Sarah Nightingale Gallery Water Mill, NY, April - May 30, 2013
Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL, “Abstract, adj.; Expressing a quality apart from an object,” February 21- April 3, 2013
Fireplace Project, Springs, NY, “Inside Outsiders,” June 29 – July 16, 2012 (Curated by Mary Heilmann)
Harper’s Books, East Hampton, NY, “Open for the Stones,“ May 26th – June 25, 2012
Dallas Art Fair, Salomon Contemporary Booth, Dallas, TX, 2012
Harper’s Books East Hampton, NY, “Group Therapy,” April 21 – May 21, 2012
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, “Artists Chose Artists,” August 21 – October 9, 2011  (Chosen by sculptor Alice Aycock)
Islip Art Museum, Islip, NY, “Flag Day,” June 15 – September 4, 2011
John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton, NY, “Local 87,” July 2 – September 15, 2011
Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY, “Hampton’s Artists: Then and Now,” May 5 – June 5, 2011
Salomon Contemporary, New York, NY, “Plank Road,” 2010
McNeill Art Group Project Space, New York, NY, “Plastic, Rubber, Wood,” October 21 – December 14, 2009
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, “Sand: Memory, Meaning and Metaphor,” June 29 - September 14, 2008       
Scope Hamptons, East Hampton, NY, July 24 – 27, 2008
Anelle Gandelman Gallery, Larchmont, NY, 2008
Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, GA , “East End Artists: Past and Present,” October 17, 2007 – January 6, 2008
Greene Contemporary, Sarasota, FL, “Assemblage,” August 3 - September 1, 2007
Scope Art Fair, East Hampton, NY, July 26 – July 29, 2007
Salvatore Ferragamo Gallery, New York, NY, “Water,” February 7 – June 4, 2007 (Curated by Blair Voltz Clark)
Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY, “The Food Show: The Hungry Eye,” November 16 – February 24, 2006  (Curated by Rob Edleman)
Spanierman Modern, New York, NY, “Long Island Abstraction 1950 to the Present,” September 7 – October 28, 2006
Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton, NY, “Hanging Out: A Re-visitation of Summer 2006,” September 10 – October 7, 2006
Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton, NY, October – December, 2005
Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY, “People, Places And Things: Works from the Collection,” April 2 – May 15, 2005
Remy Toledo Gallery, New York, NY, “Then and Now: Hampton Artists,“ March 31 – April 16, 2005
Hampton Road Gallery, Southampton, NY, “Works on Paper,” March 6 - March 17, 2005
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, “Recent Acquisitions: Framing the Collection,” September- December, 2004
Hampton Road Gallery, Southampton, NY, “Fresh Paint,” September 11 – October 11, 2004 Milk Gallery, New York, NY, “Surf Culture: The Art History of Surfing,” July, 2004 (Originated at Laguna Museum of Art, Laguna, CA, traveled to Honolulu Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, HI), 2004
The Work Space, New York, NY, September 19- November 16, 2002 (Curated by Leslie Heller)
Glenn Horowitz Bookseller East Hampton, NY, “The Sea,” May 25 – June 24, 2002
Glenn Horowitz Bookseller East Hampton, NY, “Surf’s Up: Pop Culture and Beyond,” July 14 – August 16, 2001
Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY, “The Global Village: 9 Artists of East Hampton,” April 14 – May 27, 2001
Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ, traveled to Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN, “Waxing Poetic: Encaustic Art in America,” 1999
Staller Art Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, South Fork Artists, 1995
Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY, “Young Blood,” 1993
O.K. Harris New York, NY, Centennial Biennial Invitational, 1991

SELECTED PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Edward Albee
Beth Rudin deWoody
Barnett Bank, Tampa, Florida
Cantor Fitzgerald Collection, New York
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina
Dan Flavin, Jr.
Tom and Darlene Furst
J Crew
Richard Meier
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Prince
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
Pricilla Rattazzi Whittle

AWARDS
2001 Pollock – Krasner Foundation Grant
2012 Pollock – Krasner Foundation Grant