Lon Brauer, “September of 64,” 2019, oil on panel, 24 x 20 in. Available through the artist

Fontbonne University Gallery of Fine Art in St. Louis will be exhibiting a potpourri of recent oil paintings by alum Lon Brauer (lonbrauer.com). All figurative in nature, each work explores a specific narrative and carries a dubious story within.

Lon Brauer, “Reflection,” 2019, oil on panel, 20 x 16 in. Available through the artist

Lon Brauer is an American artist known for his work in figure and plein air landscape. Born in 1955 and coming of age in the seventies, he has roots in the abstract expressionist movement. His work is a mix of the abstract and representational, bringing an impressionistic use of paint and materials to create images that challenge the viewer with new perspectives.

Lon Brauer, “Man in Plaid,” 2019, oil on panel, 30 x 24 in. Available through the artist

Brauer’s work will be coupled with the organic sculpture of Ryan Bradley. The exhibition will be on view January 17–February 14, 2020.

Lon Brauer, “Tribulation,” 2019, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 in.

Lon Bauer on Self-Portraits:

A self-portrait . . . or more. The everyman.

We see a painting on the wall and perceive it as a picture. Indeed, it is a picture no matter what the subject, but what can set one painting apart from the other is the way in which the materials are manipulated to make that picture. A painted image is an abstraction. It is a series of shapes and patterns that relate to what we think we know about the world around us.

All paintings have a narrative. That narrative can be the image or it can be the materials. Or it can be both. Representational art requires a firm structural foundation in drawing. There is no way around that. There needs to be believability in the image, and that comes from some sort of grounding. Once that is established, the artist can hang paint all day long — in a myriad of ways and a plethora of materials — to describe the vision with innovation.

My goal is to see how far I can stretch within the confines of realism.

So is this a self-portrait? Perhaps, but not merely in imagery. The means and method to making this speaks to an aggressive rawness of hand and mind.

The common man in all of us.

Lon Brauer, “Longshoreman,” 2019, oil on panel, 24 x 18 in. Available through the artist

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