George Fitzpatrick’s Word Drawings

Ancient Inspiration, Modern Design.

Over 20 years have passed since George Fitzpatrick last showed his beautiful drawings in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. For him, creating art is a personal experience for the meditative and spiritual benefits of drawing intricate lines and symbols on a grand scale.

Gold and Blue
Detail on tosa konshi paper by George Fitzpatrick

George Fitzpatrick’s love of reading inspires his drawings, which include the text from Greek literature, archeological finds, and Chinese poetry. Although the viewer might not be able to read directly from the work Fitzpatrick creates, the feeling of importance and wisdom emanate from each page. Every part of Fitzpatrick’s work is carefully planned and calculated. The number of pages, rows, writing material, and the paper are all inspired by the text and Fitzpatrick’s interpretation.

Growing up in Cleveland, George Fitzpatrick went to West Technical High School where he studied under the tutelage of art teachers, Paul and Jean Ulen. Although they did not always agree in terms of art, their lessons helped develop a love for both Renaissance painters and modern artists. After graduation, Fitzpatrick worked at a movie theater until it closed in the 1980’s, when he then decided to become a full time artist and has been one ever since.

Tosa Konshi paper is 100% gampi dyed with indigo and used for many of Fitzpatrick’s works.

Working carefully and calmly in his office, he draws each line under a bright desk light. If he makes a mistake, he must start over, which is a big deal because the paper he uses is extremely expensive and delicate. One type in particular is called Tosa Konshi paper from Japan. It is 100% gampi dyed with indigo which turns it a deep, dark blue.

Blue and Gold
Detail on tosa konshi paper by George Fitzpatrick

The paper is made by Minoru Fujimori, a seventh generation paper-maker, and is used primarily for Buddhist prayer scrolls. Fitzpatrick’s use of the paper is a reference to the careful deliberation and practice of writing out the poems like monks, who he also matches in his process.

George Fitzpatrick’s motivation for his art is the serene happiness it brings him as well as the knowledge that he is leaving something behind when he passes. His work is designed and preserved to stand the test of time. His style is minimalist and classic, which will also make his work a sight to behold for any future generation. DSC_0886Through the pages and lines, the ancient texts reach out and grab the viewer, drawing in closer to see the detail and texture, wrapping around to immerse one in the depth and weight of the text. George Fitzpatrick’s drawings are timeless, just like the ancient texts that inspire them.

The Bonfoey Gallery is excited to be hosting these magnificent pieces and hope you will come see them for yourself in our show, Twenty-Four Drawings, open August 3-September 1, 2018. For more information, visit our website or call (216) 621-0178.

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