Claude Lawrence, Benny Andrews, Hans Hofman, Norman Lewis, Stuart Davis, Leonardo Drew, Fernand Leger, Richard Hunt, Michael Thorpe, Caio Fonseca, Jean Dubuffet, and Robert Motherwell
Claude Lawrence in Conversation: A Group Exhibition
September 20, 2022 - October 22, 2022
Born in Chicago in 1944, Claude Lawrence came of age during the Second Great Migration, a period when many working class Black people moved from the South into many northern cities, including Chicago. The city soon became a hotbed for art and music, with jazz emerging as a dominant art form.
Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, Lawrence discovered an early passion for jazz music. By 1968, he had moved to New York City and was playing local clubs and beyond, and began touring the United States with his fellow jazz artists. Through his connection to the Downtown Loft Jazz scene, Lawrence became familiar with notable artists and musicians including Ornette Colman, Frank Bowling, Edvins Strautmanis and formed longtime friendships with Jack Whitten and Joe Overstreet.
As he navigated the overlapping artistic circles of New York, Lawrence eventually turned his attention to painting full-time in 1987. Lawrence, an artist without formal training, credits his practice to constant experimentation and exposure to the larger art world through visiting museums and galleries. Drawing from decades of experience as a jazz musician, Lawrence applies a similar improvisational technique to his paintings. With many of his compositions created with an all-over style reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's early surrealist-inflected paintings, Lawrence's style is abstract, gestural, experimental and bold.