11 x 7 1/4 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Joan Corine Conner
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
This portfolio of 15 images titled Book I, evolved as a direct record of a series of felt-tip pen drawings, which Conner executed in the 1960s. Characterized by allover patterns of intricate markings, they demand close and focused attention. Each image is comprised of short crisp black lines, some curved, some angular, all closely spaced against the white ground of the paper. Some images organize around distinct geometric shapes. The patterns of other pieces suggest landscape motifs or microscopic views of elemental matter. As a group the works invite contemplation of opposing forces united in a single dynamic schema. Included in this formal dialectic are the ideas of systematic and free-flowing movement, clarity and blurring of vision, order, and change. While exercising restraint in his choice of formal means, the artist achieved images complex in both composition and idea association.
Born in 1933 and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Conner settled in San Francisco in 1957 at the height of what would be called the San Francisco Renaissance. For more than five decades he has been labeled a painter, assemblage artist, filmmaker, photographer, printmaker, etc. – all correct but none of these describe him completely. His methods of making art varied continuously as he found new materials and techniques that better suited his needs.