WOLFS Gallery is pleased to announce the representation of Ken Nevadomi (b. 1939), one of Cleveland’s premier figurative painters. Included is the acquisition of Nevadomi’s own remarkable collection of paintings spanning his celebrated and prolific career. Known for his direct and often controversial figurative subject matter, Nevadomi’s art is an intuitive and personal response to contemporary culture and urban drama.
Important in this region as a major artist and highly regarded professor, Ken Nevadomi’s blue collar persona adds another dimension to his appeal. At the age of 17, Nevadomi left his troubled home in Cleveland enlisting in the service for two tours of duty during which he began to recognize his prowess and passion for painting. He went on to earn his B.F.A. from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 1972 and an M.F.A. from Kent State University in 1975. Nevadomi has been included in numerous juried shows and at least 10 solo exhibitions since 1975. His work was regularly included in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s May Shows winning several first prizes in painting and was awarded the 1988 Cleveland Arts Prize for Visual Arts.
Nevadomi’s work was sought out by curator and art advisor, Allan Schwartzman, for the New Museum’s 1980 exhibition Outside New York. Eluding fixed meanings, his work explores broad subjects that peel away the veneer of the human condition. Schwartzman has said that Nevadomi’s works are, “harshly candid confessions, presented with comic book irony, reveal[ing] a phantasmagorical world.” Much like Picasso, Nevadomi was enamored with the female figure, which is frequently represented in his powerful, sometimes angst-ridden compositions.
William H. Robinson, senior curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art, says of Nevadomi’s work, “What impresses you the most about the art of Ken Nevadomi is its honesty and its directness... His art offers a constant ‘unmasking’ of the darker side of human nature – a painful probing of hidden realities, topics avoided in normal discourse, subjects not rigidly defined or easily explained by rational analysis.” Comprehending specific meanings is not necessary to appreciate Nevadomi’s narratives. While he may have set out to make social commentary, he encouraged the viewer to respond with their own interpretations.
Of his work, Nevadomi has said, "Ideas occur and I just have to paint them. To me, the way it comes across, is that I will paint them. I will do it...life's just too short."
WOLFS is dedicated to creating a program that advocates and cultivates a broad audience for Cleveland’s most significant artists. Nevadomi’s work will be introduced with an in-depth exhibition and catalog planned for Fall 2021.