How the Light Gets in
new works by Jeffrey Bohlander
September 3-26, 2021
First Saturday Opening: September 4, 5-8pm
Third Thursday Artist Talk at the gallery: September 16, 7-8pm
Words by Earnest Hemingway have recently gripped me, “We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.” Otherwise put by Leonard Cohen’s Lyrics from Anthem, “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” For me, these quotes remind me of the traditional Japanese aesthetics of Wabi-sabi: a world view that recognizes beauty in the mundane and imperfect and appreciates the impermanent and incomplete. It acknowledges the transient impermanence in nature and objects.
These past 18 months have exposed the cracks in everyone and everything more clearly than ever. We are all broken. Broken by loss, fear, darkness, isolation, social economics, racial and political injustice, human degradation, and natural disaster. A loss of the firm and unfettered ground of a lie we came to know as familiarity, or normalcy. Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple truths: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. A painting, an object, or an expression can conjure within us a sense of serene melancholy or spiritual longing and also hope.
I approach image-making with an understanding and appreciation that simple abstract forms, objects, and expressions are capable of evoking powerful emotion and complex associations.
Even in the most damaged lives, despite all the indignities men and women inflict upon each other, some hope, some sweetness, can be found.
Approaching image-making with an understanding and appreciation that simple abstract forms, objects, and expressions are capable of evoking powerful emotion and complex associations. Always focused on experimenting, Bohlander uses combinations of mixed media, including found collage, ephemera, drawing mediums, various image transfer methods, printmaking, alternative photography, found object, and assemblage.
A Frederick Native, after earning his BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art, Bohlander’s professional career has been broad reaching, from nationally recognized Illustrator, to prolific award winning fine artist, respected art theorist, and pedagogue. His work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, Fortune, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Psychology Today, Popular Science, Continental Airlines, to name a few.
Bohlander is the recent recipient of the Jurors Choice award at the 2021 Eye of the Beholder exhibition In Annapolis, as well as Best in Show honor at the 2019 20th Annual Wills Creek Juried Exhibition, Juried by Jack Rasmussen, the Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. He was awarded 3rd place in the 2019 4th Biennial Maryland Juried Art Exhibition at University of Maryland Global Campus. A three times 2nd place prize winner at The Delaplaine Visual Art Center National Juried Exhibition, his art has exhibited locally and Nationally, and won selection in several juried exhibitions.