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This exhibition marks a returning to my first love - figure drawing. In  August 1975 I began teaching drawing in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Louisville with a special emphasis on figure drawing.  Over the next forty-two years I worked with hundreds of students, scores of models, and set up innumerable poses ranging from the simple and straight-forward to complex or unusual scenes to inspire students and models alike. 

Once I was primarily a figurative artist myself. With the exception of my very first semester, my classes always took place Monday through Thursday.  Fridays were set aside for me to work on my artwork.  Many of these Fridays revolved around hiring a model for a three-hour drawing session in the empty drawing studios on campus.   

James Grubola - The Friday Sessions: “Prelude to a Pose” III
silverpoint 9.5 x 12
James Grubola - The Friday Sessions: “Prelude to a Pose” III silverpoint 9.5 x 12

After the pose has been set, my figure drawings all begin the same.  Working life-size (or slightly smaller to fit the full figure on the page) I begin by marking the limits of the body on the page with an empty hand.  Just as a ballet dancer “marks” steps in a combination through a series hand gestures to help make a muscle memory, I move over the page trying to visualize key landmarks and measuring distances with my hand creating a muscle memory between my hand and eye of figure before me and the graphic construction to come.  When I finally pick up graphite my first marks make visible these usually anatomical, cardinal points.  Once this gesture locates the key structural lines and positions the figure on the page, the process turns to “fleshing” out the shapes, adding volume and form.

James Grubola - The Friday Sessions: Sunburn Feet graphite 35 x 45
James Grubola - The Friday Sessions: Sunburn Feet graphite 35 x 45

After that first mark violates the blank paper, each drawing reflects my struggle between the image and the drawing itself. For me observational drawing involves subject and object, perception and representation, the hand and body, and most importantly the eye and the mind. Drawing can be the least encumbered and the most intimate of media, but drawing also demands the full attention of the artist and the viewer.  It has been called the diary of the hand because it records the slightest changes of pressure; whether the mark is assured or tentative, made quickly or with slow determination. 

About the artist

James Grubola joined the Department of Fine Arts and the completing his MFA at Indiana University Bloomington where he worked with Distinguished Professor Rudy Pozzatti. A native Detroiter, Grubola earned his BFA from Wayne State University in both printmaking and drawing.

It was during this time that Grubola first began work with the medieval drawing technique of silverpoint. Although he continues to work in a number of different media and techniques including printmaking, his true passion over the years has been for drawing. 

Grubola has maintained an active exhibition record highlighted by several one and two person exhibitions including “30 Years of Silverpoint Drawing” at Nazareth Gallery in Nazareth,  Kentucky and “Lines on the Landscape” an exhibition in the University’s Hite Galleries / Belknap  and a one-person show and artist-in-residency at the Evansville Museum of Art and Science.  Grubola’s work has also been exhibited in numerous invitational and traveling exhibitions and represented in the permanent collections of the Speed Art Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and corporate collections of Bristol Myers Squibb, Eastman Kodak, and McGraw Hill Inc.

In 2015 he was named Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Louisville.  Grubola also served as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Director of the Hite Art Institute for 17 years. 

James Grubola: "The Friday (and Thursday) Sessions"

January 19th - February 24th 2018

Cressman Center for Visual Art

Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville

sitting women pose 1000

FRAMING SPECIFICATIONS

Capture0018-431 101MP01_50 SPACER

METRO GALLERY FRAME
Profile: 101
Type: Floating Gallery Frame
Wood & Finish: maple frame with clear finish
Custom wood spacer: 1/2" wood frame spacer
Purchasing Option: unjoined wood frame cut to size with wedges
Framing Advice: joining gallery frames
Framing Advice: fitting gallery frames

 

Capture0018-431 101MP05_50 SPACER

METRO GALLERY FRAMES
Profile: 101
Type: Floating Gallery Frame
Wood & Finish: maple frame with pickled white finish
Custom wood spacer: 1/2" wood frame spacer
Purchasing Option: unjoined wood frame cut to size with wedges
Framing Advice: joining gallery frames
Framing Advice: fitting gallery frames