by Jen Williams Dragon
Ford Crull’s paintings are known for their symbology, gestural forms and kaleidoscopic spaces. Originally from Seattle, Crull emerged in the Lower East Side in the early ‘80s and has continued to exude the rugged spirit of that explosive cultural era in New York City. In his latest solo exhibition, Many Rivers to Cross, recently at the Happy Hour Gallery, Crull embraces an abstract musicality in artworks that have been, for the most part, painted during the Pandemic.
Along with his embrace of prismatic colors and profound lights and darks, Ford Crull presents a quiet spiritualism that has only deepened with time. Hearts dissolve into faces, crosses become clovers and stars, butterflies merge with hearts, and stars melt into astral light. Incomplete asemic phrases, as random as a thought but as profound as an incantation float in and out of the painting straddling both form and meaning. In Now Not Seen a flock of hearts flutters into a blue field while the words “Now Not Seen” float brokenly down about them.
The largest of the paintings, (and the namesake of the show), Many Rivers to Cross has the epic proportions and drama of a true romantic painting as it emanates a glowing musicality. The shimmering golden light through the brushwork of a burning red field has a power and hopefulness as fierce as a bonfire creating the ultimate transformation. It is the ecstasy of space and being, the power of light and dark, and the passage of day to night that is the paradoxical twilight/dawn world of Ford Crull.
Some works from Many Rivers to Cross are curated into the current group exhibition, The Living Water, through September 15 at the Happy Hour Gallery 670 Mtk Hwy, Water Mill. NY 11976