“Spaces IN Between” An Odyssey in Abstraction feat. Al Johnson, Anton, BAI, and Sam Kthar

OPENING SEPTEMBER 18, 2021 – Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery introduces East Coast artists Al Johnson, Anton Modern Art, and BAI to the Detroit arts landscape in an exhibition that explores abstraction, surrealism, and cubism — bringing together the real and imagined to challenge the Spaces IN Between. The exhibit additionally folds local emerging artist, Samah Kthar, into the conversation; whose paintings derive from personal histories and emit ‘unity and compassion’ through sacred geometry. The discourse between the works of these four artists transcends geographies and generations to simply communicate the hues, contours and beauty of original thought.

About the Artists: Born in Queens, NY, Al Johnson has developed a career in figurative and abstract arts spanning over thirty years. His abstract works weave together classical and contemporary styles to create lush and immersive compositions that exemplify the artist’s personal and spiritual influences. Johnson studied at Pratt Institute and the New York Art Students’ League. He has exhibited at the Museum of African Art in New York, Rush Fine Arts in New York and Philadelphia, and La Maison des Arts Gallery in France, and his art and commissions are held in esteemed private and corporate collections around the world. From the Bronx, NY, Anton describes himself as being “addictively drawn towards colors and shapes.” Dedicated to exploring  the world beyond realism, Anton has nurtured a modern art technique that has been informed as much by African and primitive art forms as his own urban environs. His work is widely collected and shown in group and solo exhibits at City College of New York, Richard Beavers’ House of Art and Renaissance Fine Art in New York, and the Rotunda Gallery in New Rochelle, NY. BAI, also a New York-based artist, studied at the California College of Arts & Crafts. His art has been exhibited at galleries and cultural institutions throughout New York, North Carolina, and California, and can be found in the permanent collections of the Harrison Museum of African Museum of African American Culture, University of North Carolina, Kaiser Permanente, and private collectors. BAI has lived and created throughout the U.S., and in Western Europe, Panama, and Korea. Largely inspired by the Renaissance Period and Fauvism, he blends oil pastels, acrylic paint and inks to invent figures and worlds that
evoke mystery and wonder. The work of local artist, Samah Kthar, is influenced by the shift taking place in the world and aims to communicate via sacred geometry, with an ultimate goal of promoting unity and compassion. Although, she has no formal training in art, Kthar has obtained three degrees – in Biology, Health Sciences, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Her artistic practice merges knowledge and spirituality while reflecting her Iraqi, New York, and Detroit roots. She has exhibited throughout Greater Detroit and led expressive art therapy workshops with youth in Flint, MI, and at MOCAD in Detroit.

Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery is a not-for-profit art space producing art exhibits and multi-media programs that explore cultural and historical content and give voice and a sense of place for minority interests and concerns. The gallery helps support artists through its Artist-In-Residency program – which invites national and global artists to the space for the development of new projects and to contribute to the cultural wealth of Detroit City.

Spaces IN Between opens Saturday, September 18, 2021 from 12pm – 6pm.

General hours of operation are Thursday thru Sunday from 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm and by appointment other days/times through October 30, 2021.

The following safety precautions are being observed: Only six persons are
allowed in the gallery at a time; masks must be worn indoors at all times; sanitizing station and temperatures taken at
the door.

For an appointment, private tour, or any other inquiries contact the gallery via email or call 313.932.7690.

View the Facebook invitation HERE: https://fb.me/e/1maM0yXv5
Event hashtag: #spacesinbetween