Anthony Conway

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Template:Infobox artist Anthony Conway (born September 29, 1961) is an American realist painter, known for his figurative works on sports subjects, and his contemporary vision of American life.[1][2] Conway has been compared to Thomas Eakins, in part because he embraced classical realist techniques and favored similar subjects. He is regarded as one of the early initiators of the contemporary classical art revival, although he rejects the stringent exactitude in depicting subjects adopted by many of his contemporaries.[3][4][5]

He is known for his use of color, the diversity of his mediums, draftsmanship, Modernist sense of space, and his interpretations on modern life.[6][7]

Early life[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

The artist (2nd from Lt.), age 7, with his brothers in front of childhood home.

Conway was born in Long Island, New York, the third of four sons of Eileen and Thomas Conway. His family moved to the suburb of Levittown, and later to the South Shore town of Massapequa.Template:When}[8][9]

Conway had a passion for art early in life, and started copying reproductions in books on the Old Masters works that he admired, especially, the artists of the Italian Renaissance.[10][11] In grade school he demonstrated his talent in drawing, and his parents encouraged his artistic tendencies with private lessons, art supplies, and a small studio in the corner of his bedroom. Conway attended St. Agnes Cathedral High School in Rockville Centre, Long Island, and New York State's Governor's School for the Arts in New York. He attended courses a local college while still in high school.[12][13] His first summer job in high school was in his neighbor's sign business.[14]

Education[edit | hide | edit source]

Parsons School of Design[edit | hide | edit source]

Art Students League

In 1980 Conway began his college education at Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he became friends with Leonardo Drew.

In the early 80s, the Neo-expressionism art movement was becoming popular, as were painters such as Julian Schnabel, Robert Longo, David Salle, Eric Fischl, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. However, Conway believed that the neo-expressionists lacked skill and craftsmanship, and that the movement would fail.[15]

While Parsons provided excellent instruction in the commercial arts, Conway was frustrated with the lack of instruction in painting techniques, and his friend Leonardo directed him to the Art Students League. It was at the League that he was mentored by artist David Leffel.[16][17][18][19]

While in college, Conway made his living as a freelance artist and working as a host in a French restaurant on Fifth Avenue next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.[20]

Medical school[edit | hide | edit source]

Conway wanted to study human anatomy first-hand and in-depth from the cadaver, and he earned entrance into the Medical College of Georgia in 1985. Like Thomas Eakins before him, Conway attended courses in anatomy and dissection alongside of medical students. He completed his Master's of Science Degree in Medical illustration in 1989.[21][22][23]

Artistic career[edit | hide | edit source]

Sports paintings[edit | hide | edit source]

Painting of relay race from 1996 Paralympic Games, Triumph, acrylic on paper, 6" x 12", by Anthony Conway

While taking a break from working on his Master’s Thesis in Graduate school, Conway encountered the sport of rowing on the Savannah River. Inspired, he created several rowing scenes; including A Declaration of Interdependence.[24][25]

His sports paintings drew rapid attention, and within a fewTemplate:How many years Conway was working with top professional athletes and teams, fortune 500 companies, the Centennial Olympic and Paralympic Games and drawing royalty and celebrities alike.[26][27][28] In August 2001, Conway returned to New York for a one-man show of his paintings on sports themes.

Flag paintings[edit | hide | edit source]

Fall Harvest, oil on panel, 8" x 10" by Anthony Conway (Private Collection). An en plein air painting from Conway's Flag Series

After the events of September 11, 2001, Conway stopped painting sports scenes.[29] In the first few years after 9/11, Conway changed course, and began to express through his art his personal feelings on the modern day American experience. Inspired by his fellow Americans, Conway began to develop the idea for a series of paintings, and by mid-2000, he became absorbed in creating the flag paintings, which have the American flag as a common element in each work.[30]

Rather than making overt patriotic statements in the flag paintings, Conway gave the works a distinctly American character in which he tackled the contradictions within the modern American culture, gave homage to America's past, and provided hints of what may be in America's future.[31] As the War on Terror expanded, Conway’s son-in-law was deployed to Afghanistan. The differing emotions and contexts that Conway expresses in his flag paintings have demonstrated a historical portrait of America post-9/11.[32]

Artistic style[edit | hide | edit source]

Equine painting Chukkers, Oil on canvas, 16" x 20", by Anthony Conway (Private Collection) Painting selected as one of 15 international artists for the survey exhibition Realism 2002.

Conway is often identified with the classical realist revival in the contemporary art world; however, this is an inadequate classification of Conway's art. While Conway's style reflects his respect of the Old Masters, he is constantly pushing new boundaries and experimenting in his art.[33] Conway is willing to employ Modernists techniques and aesthetics,[34] seen in paintings like Trident, one of his most notable flag paintings. Inspired by the abstract expressionism of Robert Rauschenberg's "Combines", Conway has taken painting from a two dimensional object to the third dimension with found objects, thus bridging sculptural and painterly elements. Conway then takes the painting a step further to a fourth dimension, by adding smell and sound. For authentic effect, Conway layers his paintings, often breaking pastel dust into the paint, using an acrylic wash, or by adding transparent glazes. Adding oils or subtle metallics to these layers creates a living texture to the work.[35]

References[edit | hide | edit source]

  1. Wallace, Terry (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Introduction. p. 2. Conway is a young man who may be America's most notable painter of American sporting subjects.
  2. Hassold, Kim (December 2006). "Anthony Conway: The Flag Series". Talk Magazine. The Greenville News, A Gannett Co.: 39. Conway's career has been one of remarkable craftsmanship and insightful depiction of contemporary life. He is a leading contributor among artists advancing today's burgeoning renaissance in classicism and realism.
  3. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. He (Conway) was among the first small band of students who championed a renaissance of perceptual skills and craftsmanship because, as the artist says, "We felt those skills were being abandoned.
  4. ^
  5. Gauthier, Leigh (July 5, 2002). "Local Painter Selected for International Exhibition: Respected Realist artist commends Greenville art community". The Greenville Journal. 4 (28): A6. His years of developing his "voice" have paid off in recent years, as he has earned a reputation as one of the most talented of the latest generation of realistic painters.
  6. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. The artist, who is drawn to sports themes, marries classically inspired craftsmanship and a Modernist sense of space with an Impressionist color palette.
  7. Wallace, Terry (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Introduction. p. 2. A skilled draftsman, he (Conway) very effectively gets his viewer emotionally involved in his paintings. Meanwhile, his use of color and a technique of mixing a variety of mediums set him apart from other painters.
  8. Richardson-Moore, Deb (December 11, 1991). "Peace Center Gallery is Exhibiting Artist's 'Emotion in Motion'". Lifestyle Section: The Greenville News, a Multimedia Co. p. 2B.
  9. Jenkins, Vance (March 2004). "Anthony Conway:The Thinker's Painter". South Carolina Magazine. The Arts: 64. Born in Levittown, New York, Conway has always held a passion for the visual arts. His mother once declared that he was born with a brush in his hand.
  10. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. Conway, who has always been intrigued with the human anatomy, recalls, "Even as a child, all I wanted to do was draw like DaVinci, and capture the human form like Michelangelo. He practiced his technique in the traditional manner, by copying the Old Masters' works.
  11. ^
  12. Smith, Michael B. (October 31, 1991). "With Anthony Conway: The Art's the Thing". EDGE Magazine. Artists Deserving Wider Recognition. 1 (13): 7. Conway's interest in art came at an early age, while living in New York, and by the time he was 15, he was attending life drawing classes at a local college.
  13. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. By tenth grade, he (Conway) was studying life drawing at Hofstra University.
  14. ^
  15. Jenkins, Vance (March 2004). "Anthony Conway:The Thinker's Painter". South Carolina Magazine. The Arts: 65. Conway sees a revival of classical realism in the art world - a renaissance approach, if it pleases. "I believe that we've seen somewhat of an aesthetic recession over the past 20 years," says Conway. "As a whole, there seems to be more hype and shock value than in attention to real craftsmanship.
  16. Smith, Michael B. (October 31, 1991). "With Anthony Conway:The Art's the Thing". EDGE Magazine. Artists Deserving Wider Recognition: 7. One of the most influential phases of his career came when Anthony studied portraiture and figure painting for four summers with David Leffel at The Art Students League of New York
  17. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. During the art Boom of the early 80's, Conway earned a B.F.A. at the Parsons School of Design and honed his skills at the Art Students League where instructor David Leffel influenced him.
  18. ^
  19. Hassold, Kim (December 2006). "Anthony Conway: The flag Series". TALK Magazine. TALK Art: The Greenville News, a Gannett Co.: 39. Born and raised in suburban Long Island, N.Y., Conway showed an early talent for drawing, eventually earning a degree from the Parsons School of Design, and later sharpening his skills through the rigorous academic tradition of drawing and painting the human form at the Arts Students League of New York. Then, determined to study anatomy from the cadaver, he earned a master's of science in medical illustration.
  20. ^
  21. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. Determined to study anatomy first-hand from the cadaver, he (Conway) earned entrance into the Medical College of Georgia and received the anatomical training of a medical student (while completing a Master's of Science degree in Medical Art).
  22. ^
  23. Gauthier, Leigh (July 5, 2002). "Local Painter Selected for International Exhibition: Respected Realist artist commends Greenville art community". The Greenville Journal. Community. 4 (28): A7. His years of medical school helped him bring added realism to portrayals of anatomy and movement.
  24. Rhodes, Dan (March 26, 1989). "Putting in an Artistic Oar: Illustrator paints success for Augusta rowing team". Entertainment: The Augusta Chronicle/Augusta Herald. p. 5D. Two years ago, New York native Anthony Conway took off from his studies in medical illustration at the Medical College of Georgia to go watch the 1987 Augusta Rowing Regatta. As an artist and a student of anatomy, he was facinated by the wide range of colors — the blue river, the team uniforms, the long boats — and the emotional expressions on the faces of the losers and winners. "I thought this would be a great sport to paint," he (Conway) said.
  25. Hassold, Kim (December 2006). "Anthony Conway: The Flag Series". TALK Magazine. TALK Arts: The Greenville News, a Gannett Co.: 39. It was while working on his education that Conway started doing paintings of sports just to relax. This "hobby" lead to a national reputation and an international opportunity to work with the first professional digital camera to create art on the spot at the 1996 centennial Olympic Games.
  26. Aiken, Heidi. "The fine Art of Cycling". Tour Du Pont Supplement: The Greenville News. p. 5. Many professional sports stars have painted alongside Conway, and have co-signed the original artworks with him.
  27. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. In 1996, when he (Conway) was designated "An Official Artist of the Paralympic Games," in Atlanta, Eastman Kodak sponsored Conway (their, and at the Centennial Olympic Games '96)
  28. ^
  29. Hassold, Kim (December 2006). "Anthony Conway: The Flag Series". TALK Magazine. TALK Arts: The Greenville News, A Gannett Co.: 39. I was stunned watching the live coverage of death and destruction and began asking, 'What does all this mean?' It was incomprehensible to me, and I began doing paintings of what I was seeing around me to make sense of what was happening to our world. This is how the series on flags began.
  30. Hassold, Kim (December 2006). "Anthony Conway: The Flag Paintings". TALK MAgazine. TALK Arts: Greenville News, A Gannett Co.: 38. Artist Anthony Conway is well known for his insightful depictions of contemporary life and says being in New York witnessing 9-11, he felt a common emotion with the rest of the country, and chose to use his immense talent to express it.
  31. Hassold, Kim (December 2006). "Anthony Conway: The Flag Series". TALK Magazine. TALK Arts: The Greenville News, A Gannett Co.: 39. The Flag Series is not so much about the flag as they are a reflection of my thoughts and feelings about our humanity and my journey in the American experience," Conway says. "These paintings show how we use the American flag to define ourselves, which exposes our best qualities and our contradictions, which reveals much about our national character.
  32. Jenkins, Vance (March 2004). "Anthony Conway: The Thinker's Painter". South Carolina Magazine. The Arts: 65. Conway maintains that inspiration and creative energy can't be rushed. "I've been working on some of my paintings for more than a decade," he says. "I don't force a painting to be done, I work on it — come back to it — and work on it some more.
  33. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2. The artist works with pastels, oils and acrylics on paper, canvas or linen and willingly experiments with every available medium.
  34. Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 3. Conway's coloration clearly extends beyond the limited dark palette of the Old Masters; it exudes a luminescence more aptly associated with Impressionism and plein air painting. Reaching for the Dream —painted in acrylic, pastels and oils on canvas — unites both Modernist and Impressionist components.
  35. Jenkins, Vance (March 2004). "Anthony Conway:The Thinker's Painter". South Carolina Magazine. The Arts: 65.
  • Jenkins, Vance (March 2004). "Anthony Conway:The Thinker's Painter". South Carolina Magazine. The Arts: 65. By painting a tremendous range of subjects, Conway's intent is to speak universal truths about the human condition that resonates with the viewer in personal ways. "It's really about the work," he says. "My personal intentions don't matter. In the end, I'm just a painter trying to paint from my experiences and observations—putting it all out there for people to decide for themselves what the work means and how the work feels.
  • Smith, Michael B. (October 31, 1991). "With Anthony Conway: The Art's the Thing". EDGE Magazine. Artists Deserving Wider Recognition. 1 (13): 7. After graduating from college, Anthony made Greenville his home. "For me, Greenville is the ideal place to live and work," says Conway. "Few distractions, easy access to larger cities, with an ever changing wealth of cultural activities to educate and inspire me.
  • Aiken, Heidi (April 30, 1995). "The Fine Art of Cycling". Tour DuPont Supplement: The Greenville News. p. 5. An artist of the '90s, Conway lives and works quietly out of his home-based studio in Greenville.
  • Gauthier, Leigh (July 5, 2002). "Local Painter Selected for International Exhibition; Respected Realist artist commends Greenville art community". The Greenville Journal. Community. 4 (28): A6. Anthony Conway splits his time between New York, Connecticut, the Hamptons and Greenville, but he says he calls Greenville his home. And while those other cities may be more well known as strongholds for the arts, he says Greenville was the ideal place for him to develop as an artist—and he plans to keep returning here as his burgeoning career will allow him.
  • Jenkins, Vance (March 2004). "Anthony Conway:The Thinker's Painter". South Carolina Magazine: 64. There are so many distractions in New York that it can be difficult to give yourself the quiet time necessary to work," says Conway. "By contrast, the people of Greenville remind me of an America that used to be. And although there is a small town feel, we have tremendous cultural offerings here that equal those of many larger cities in both size and quality; Greenville is the ideal place for my creativity and work.
  • Lew, Irvina (2001). Anthony Conway: American Sport. Essay. p. 2.
  • Gauthier, Leigh (July 5, 2002). "Local painter Selected for International Exhibition: Respected Realist artist commends Greenville art community". The Greenville Journal. Community. 4 (28): A7. Abstraction and conceptualism dominated the 20th-century art world, but realism held its place, and there is a major shift back to realistic painting, " Conway says. "It was all about the concept, but people are pushing for the craft again.
  • Hassold, Kim (December 2006). "Anthony Conway:The Flag Series". TALK Magazine. TALK Art: The Greenville News, A Gannett Co.: 39. To bring craftsmanship back to contemporary art, I reference the techniques of the past, but think in the future related to the subject, composition and look of the image to define this moment in time.