ANTONIE: A Micro Retrospective

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For the month of September, the gallery will feature the artist James Antonie in a show titled ANTONIE: A Micro Retrospective.

James was born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin and started painting as a very young child, resulting in a Scholastic Magazine Award to attend the Layton School of Art and Design in Milwaukee, under a full scholarship.   In 1968 he received a fellowship from the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. He went on to the University of Illinois to receive his Masters in Fine Art. During the 1970s he was a Professor of Art at Arizona State University and Director of the Harry Wood Art Gallery.

James’s major focus has been his investigation of artwork and the viewer exploring micro and macro scale.  In 1975 he created The Micro Gallery, architectural models of exhibition spaces with portable moveable art exhibits. He has exhibited The Micro Gallery and his artwork in a wide variety of shows including The Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Guild Hall in East Hampton and the Art Alliance in Philadelphia.    Notable artists (including the Fluxus) have exhibited in James’ Micro Gallery. Buckminster Fuller sent a letter commenting that the Micro Gallery’s work and concerns “embraces important experiences in his life”.

James received an entrepreneurial artist-in-residence offer that persuaded him to leave his teaching career and to come East. Years later after many jobs in New York City, including art preparer, model builder, working for the Leo Castelli Gallery and assisting Claes Oldenburg in his 14th St. studio — James joined MoMA as a Security Supervisor where he worked by day while continuing to work on his art at night.  He created the University of Utopian Directions — a conceptual art project of an Imaginary School where “Everyone Has Something to Offer.”  The University Projects included musical and theatrical events with poets, writers, musicians and abstract performers.  James took the Utopian concept one step further and opened a bookstore/art gallery under the same name in Warwick, NY where visitors were continuously amused as to whether they were in a bookstore, an art gallery, a museum or an entertainment hall.  But all enjoyed the experience and to this day the University reappears at art events.

James has been a prolific artist his whole life and this show represents a wide range of his ideas and concepts.  Stop in to get a glimpse of the work of a Utopian Artist. There will be a reception Sat Sept 14, 5-8 pm.

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