Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Work

Out of My Mind::Opening@Gallery Ü::21Oct-16Dec05

Gallery Ü Cleveland
is proud to present new works by
Michael McNamara :: Out of My Mind
21 October 2005 - 16 December 2005

Artist receptions, 6 - 10 p.m.
Friday, 21 October (opening)
Friday, 18 November
Friday, 16 December (closing)


September 2005 Cleveland, Ohio - Gallery Ü Cleveland presents Out of My Mind, a solo exhibition of new work by Michael McNamara from October 21st, 2005 through January 20th, 2006. The gallery is located in the Colonial Marketplace Artcade at 530 Euclid Avenue, Suite 30, in the Gateway district of Cleveland. Gallery hours are Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. There will be an opening reception on Friday, October 21st from 6 to 10 p.m. Additional receptions will be on Friday, November 18th, Friday and December 16th, 2006 from 6 to 10 p.m. The public is invited.

Composed of works created expressly for Gallery Ü, this is McNamara’s third exhibition at the gallery and the kick-off of our fourth season. Not unlike his previous exhibits, McNamara’s ability to awe one is not surpassed in this stunning display of new work. Here he once again expresses his daring as a painter and craftsperson. Presented are several large-scale works as well as a number of small paintings, each of which seems to capture a fleeting glimpse into some darkly fantastic vignette. One is left to deconstruct a beguiling mix of icons and words in order to reconstruct a narrative or conceptual framework. McNamara deliberately complicates notions and presents a myriad of personal symbols within a familiar context. Graceful childhood images appear alongside adult fantasies and dreamlike-ghostly imagery is paired with contemporary icons. Such juxtapositions prompt the viewer to readdress theories of social politics and morals, friendships and relationships. One is left questioning life with a critical eye.

As a body of work, it is provocative and challenging. McNamara is not satisfied to deliver easy platitudes to questions of content. However, he always manages to deliver a wry commentary on the exploitation of humanity and culture. His images can be practical to the point of text written in paint or as complicated as the use of a reoccurring figural image that is invisible unless pointed out. He is a master at creating captivating imagery and evoking one to wonder. McNamara is truly self-described and self-defined and does not labor under misapprehension of imposed external requirements — the figural, or historical proprieties — the abstract spiritual; here there is no “justified” extrapolation, or inference, but pure imaginary invented in paint. Yet these paintings are not illustrations, a visual expression of a theoretical position or agenda, but rather they are renderings and gestures of that which he feels he needs to express.

Each painting is rendered in rich tones with a heavy painterly touch that makes one recall the Old Masters. His compositions are particular, his figures purposeful, and color palette sensual. McNamara would appear to be inspired by the Italian Renaissance. Yet his use of text as imagery, his preference for an abstract narrative and his technique of layering visual upon visual are wholly contemporary. His subjects are the definition with which he dismantles his senses and reconstructs his sense of self. At least that is what one hopes.

As Vincent van Gogh has written "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Michael McNamara studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and thereafter, moved to Texas. He has participated in group exhibitions throughout Cleveland and has held numerous solo exhibitions in Texas. McNamara currently lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a co-founder of Gallery Ü and this is his third solo exhibition.


My most concentrated area of talent is painting. Specifically, oil painting in the style of abstract expressionism. I have strong drawing skills in the style of a representational artist and enjoy creating sculpture and have experimented with a vast array of materials such as stone and metal. I also have experience in print making and jewelry/silversmithing. In addition, I utilize my talents working as a designer on film and theatrical sets, murals and commercial signage. I also own and operate a commercial and residential restoration company. My work has been displayed in numerous solo and group exhibitions as well as private collections in cities such as, Cleveland, Ohio; Houston, Texas; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Professional Experience
(Solo Exhibitions)
Gallery Ü Cleveland, Cleveland, OH - 2003, 2004 & 2005
Snickers, Cleveland, OH - 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 & 2005
Sage, (Tremont ARTwalk), Cleveland, OH - 2002
Tree House, (Tremont ARTwalk), Cleveland, OH - 2000 & 2001
Lava Lounge, (Tremont ARTwalk), Cleveland, OH - 2000 & 2001
Fat Cats, (Tremont ARTwalk), Cleveland, OH - 2000
Hi & Dry, (Tremont ARTwalk), Cleveland, OH - 1999 & 2000
Miracles, (Tremont ARTwalk), Cleveland, OH - 2000
Open Studio, Houston, TX - 1996
Esqivel Contemporary Art, Houston, TX - 1996
Artables Gallery, Houston, TX - 1992, 1993 & 1994
Cafe Noche, Houston, TX - 1992 & 1996
River Cafe, Houston, TX - 1990, 1996, 1997 & 1998

(Group Exhibitions)
Morrison Dance, (Fundraiser), Cleveland, OH - 2005
1300 Gallery, (Fundraiser), Cleveland, OH - 2005
Cleveland Public Theater, (Fundraiser), Cleveland, OH - 2003, 2004 & 2005
Artefino Gallery, (Fundraiser), Cleveland, Oh - 2004
Gallery Ü Cleveland, (Holiday Show) Cleveland, OH - 2003
Make a With Foundation, (Fundraiser),Cleveland, OH - 2001
United Way, (Fundraiser), Cleveland, OH - 2000
Artables Gallery, (Holiday Show) Houston, TX - 1997
Lawndale Gallery, (Group Show), Houston, TX - 1996
CH Gallery, (Two Person Show), Houston, TX - 1996
Artables Gallery, (Group Show), Houston, TX - 1992 & 1993
Cafe Noche, (Group Show), Houston, TX - 1996

(Juried Exhibitions)
Kent State University, (Symposium on Violence - First Place), Cleveland, OH - 2000
University of Houston, Butler Gallery, (Annual Spring Show) Houston, TX - 1987

(Public Art Murals)
American Flag, City of Lakewood, Lakewood, OH - 2001
Peterson Nut Company, Cleveland, OH - 2000
Tree House, Cleveland, OH - 2000
Jimmies Place, Houston, TX - 1999

(Commercial Signage & Commercial/Residential Restoration)
Allessis’s Restorante, Cleveland, OH - 2006
11th St. Cafe, Houston, TX - 1999
The Moose Cafe, Houston, TX - 1999
M.A.C. & Company, (Restoration), Houston, TX & Cleveland, OH - 1990 to current

Dick Wray, (Abstract Expressionists), Understudy and Assistant, Houston, TX - 1984 thru 1998
Glassell School of Art, Certificate of Fine Arts Program, Houston, TX - 1980 thru 1986
Cleveland Institute of Art, B.F.A. Courses, Cleveland, OH - 1976 thru 1979
Kent State University, Summer Blossom Music Center Program, Cleveland, OH - 1975
Cooper School of Art, Pre -college Program, Cleveland, OH - 1974 thru 1976