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Relief Paintings by
Don Hazlitt

March 3rd - April 7th, 2023

The works in this exhibition find their roots stretching back several decades into Hazlitt’s earliest efforts into his practice of making small constructed paintings, some of which project up to 10 inches off of the wall. The artist has always held the belief that the process of painting was first inspired by early mans’ discoveries into the pictorial possibilities found within the subtle raised surface textures of their Paleolithic caves. This idea of painting on a raised surface of relief has followed throughout the entire History of Western Art from the caves, to the colorful narrative ‘frieze’ of the Athenian Parthenon, to the ‘fetish-like’, religious relief icons of the Middle Ages. It has been Western man’s impulse to paint onto real space, thus creating a visual conversation between the actual and the illusion implied, presenting the potential for a vast range of implied meaning.


The works in this exhibition are ‘low-crafted’, imploded versions of paintings recently shown at the Rockport Center for the Arts. These works present the viewer with the notion that scale is not just a matter of size, but rather is always a question of content, presence, density and intent. It is the fusion of these elements that gives these works their energy, directness and clarity. The biomorphic shapes found in these works cast shadows onto the space, asking us to become aware of our physical location relative to the object, the wall and the entire space. The content of these playful ‘relief(s)’ concern themselves with two major themes, one is the use of humor and the integrity of the painted object.


Don Hazlitt was born in 1948 in Stockton California. He received his BA in art in 1971 from Sonoma State University, MA in art in 1973 from California State University, and his MFA in 2007 from Vermont College. He has exhibited nationally and internationally in places such as New York, Illinois, North Carolina, France, England, Switzerland

Exhibition Gallery

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