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The Carlos Reid Gallery

Michael Escoffery

Jamaica

Michael Escoffery

Michael Escoffery

 

Artists are born with their talents intact.  Nurturing exposure to appropriate environments and early training are not quite as certain.  Born in Jamaica, Michael Escoffery had the good fortune to be the son of intellectuals whose interest in his future made it possible for him to pursue his proclivities.  His parents were students of the celebrated artist Edna Manley, wife of a national hero and mother of a Jamaican Prime Minister.  Escoffery considers himself an expatriate still intangibly connected to his birth land.  Educated and trained in the unique matrix of African and European cultures that make up the Caribbean Islands, Escoffery’s mission is to create a symbiosis of this cultural heritage and the late 20th century art, as did Wilfred Lam in the mid-20th century.

 

Escoffery’s subjective itinerary follows an eclectic tradition in the manner of late 19th century artists like Edgar Degas, whose genres varied, but remained a constant source of pictorial content.  Believing “there is no absolute visual reality, but rather the coexistence of the [ambiguous] and the real in all we perceive”, Escoffery continues to explore all media and styles for visual connections that link his experiences with the illusionary complexities of American contemporary art.  His pictorial content is used as a medium for the manipulation of stylistic formula; inventions to be exploited for his own purposes.  It is from this vantage point that his engaging intelligence made it possible for him to use the content of topical issues, and the isms of the late 20th century styles, with impunity.  The results are visible in the non-figurative Apartheid, 1989 and Malcolm X, the 1991 series in which Escoffery creates a searing commentary on racial attitudes with his art.  Desert Storm, inspired Stars & Stripes of 1991.  The series, based on the American Flag, is ingeniously configured and coupled with icons used to challenge its original symbolism.

 

Compassion has taken form in figurative works and self-portraits, particularly, a probing 1989 image in which Escoffery’s piercing eyes seek refuge behind a compositional arrangement of vertical and diagonal crossbars.  The visual dynamic created by the positioning of a small black square and the blackened vertical plane containing his features creates a continuum of repression and impelling need to break out.  “Windows of the Mind”, 1989, is a reflection on memory.  The work incorporates three nudes behind a scrim of overlapping translucent planes that partially conceal, but do not hide, the emotional bifurcation of the time and involvement.  Yet Escoffery, with equal sensibility, softened by a mood of repose, displays the touch of the poet in the serene portrait on paper, of “Josephine Riley Matthews”, 1990.

 

In 1994, Escoffery explored the visual potential of imaging technology developed for the Internet in two series, “Jazz Musicians and Portraits”.  A diversionary style for Escoffery, it was inspired by ‘time’ – the sequence of resolution that engaged and impacted on the artist’s eye.  In “Diva”, 1994, the face evolves from squares creating a photographic image.  His fineness in exacting the juxtaposition of color and shape remarkably captures the facets, jewel-like quality of au courant processing.  The Artist claims non-conformity by resisting the limitations of stylistic formulas, but his remarkable and prolific achievement contradicts his modesty.  His eclecticism is a directional force constantly prompting him to paint as his whim directs.  His personality reveals a sensitivity rarely seen among artist of the late 20th century.

 

Marilyn Becker
Professor, Art History
Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL

Exhibitions

 

2012 Harlem Fine Arts Show, New York

“Escoffery, The Exhibits for Jamaica,”: A series of exhibitions showcasing paintings, drawings, and sculptures in honor of Jamaica’s 50th Independence Celebration, New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; Toronto, Canada; London, England; Geneva, Switzerland

2011

“Jamaican Perspectives in Clay & Colour,” The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland

2009

Harlem Fine Arts Show, New York

“Escoffery: Paintings & Drawings,” Astah Fine Art Gallery, New Jersey

2008

“Escoffery,” Jamaican Consulate, New York

“Escoffery,” Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, D.C.

“Escoffery,” Todays Gallery, Beijing, China

2006

Embassy of Jamaica, Beijing, China

National Black Fine Arts Show, New York

Art off the Main, New York

2005

National Black Fine Arts Show, New York

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Just Looking Gallery, Hagerstown, Maryland

2004

National Black Fine Arts Show, New York

“Escoffery’s Untitled,” Savacou Gallery, New York

Art off the Main, New York

2002

National Black Fine Arts Show, New York

“Escoffery: Recent Paintings,” Astah Fine Art Gallery, New Jersey

2001

“9/11 Remembered,” New York

1999

National Black Fine Arts Show, New York

“Escoffery: One Night Stand,” Savacou Gallery, New York

“Escoffery: Paintings & Drawings,” Jamaican Consulate, New York

1998

“Spirit of a People,” Art 54 Gallery, Soho, New York

“Escoffery,” The Center for Arts, Westchester, New York

“Vision Quest Series,” Marine Midland Bank, Soho, New York

“Women History Month,” YMCA, Brooklyn, New York

“Escoffery the Painter,” Sibman Gallery, Paris, France

“Escoffery New Works,” Savacou Gallery, New York, New York

“New American Art Show,” Tweed Gallery, New York, New York

“Escoffery at The Jamaican Consulate,” New York, New York

“National Black Fine Arts Show,” New York, New York 

1997

“Reminiscence,” A rare and unique exhibition of Escoffery’s drawings and works on paper

“With These Hands,” Escoffery’s sculpture honoring Marcus Garvey for the Multinational Business  Conference, Barbados.

“Escoffery’s New Works,” New Harlem Gallery New York, New York

“National Black Fine Arts Show,” New York, New York

“Escoffery Jamaica Jamboree,” Jamaica Tourist Board, Toronto, Canada

“Escoffery,” Die Treppe Galerie, Stuttgart, Germany

“Escoffery,” Westchester Country Club, Westchester, New York

“A Salute to Women,” Women’s History March, Brooklyn, New York

“A Retrospective,” N.B.C. TV.  Studios, New York, New York

1996

“Escoffery,” Ffriend Enterprise, New York, New York

“Escoffery’s Nudes,” The Tunnel-Great Hall Gallery, New York, New York

“Escoffery Untitled,” New Harlem Gallery, New York, New York 

1995

“Escoffery’s Visions,” Jamaica Consulate, Toronto, Canada

“Escoffery Paints,” Savacou Gallery, New York, New York

1994

“Escoffery’s Recent Workshops,” Mutual Life Gallery, Kingston, Jamaica.

“Escoffery Jamaica Independence,” Jamaica Consulate, New York, New York. 

1993

“Escoffery Oil on Canvas,” Savacou Gallery, New York, New York

“Jamaican Artist, Escoffery,” Jamaica Consulate, Toronto, Canada

1992

“Fin De Siècle Artist,” Lever House, New York, New York

“International Fine Art Exhibit,” Musee De La Commanderie D’Unet, Paris, France

“International Fine Art Exhibit,” Miami, Florida & Dallas, Texas

“14th Annual Exhibition,” Gallery 12, New York, New York

“Being and Becoming,” Hudson Guild, New York, New York

“12th Annual African Caribbean Exhibition,” New York, New York

“A Day Without Art,” New York, New York

“Escoffery,” Coogans, New York, New York

“Escoffery Jamaica’s 30th Independence,” Jamaica Consulate, New York, New York

“Michael Escoffery’s Recent Paintings,” Gallery Saireido, Soho, New York

“Michael Escoffery’s Works,” AT&T Bell Labs, New Jersey

“Michael Escoffery’s Quest,” Maska International Gallery, Seattle, Washington

“Michael Escoffery Paintings,” Whitehall Gallery, New York, New York

“400 Years of My People,” Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia

“Escoffery Recent Works,” Savacou Galley, New York, New York

“Escoffery Works on Paper,” Bronx Town Hall, Bronx, New York for the Grand Opening

of Tallawah Studio Gallery, New York City, established to exclusively represent Michael   Escoffery.

 

1991

“International Artist,” Art 54, Soho, New York, New York

“Celebration of Black Creativity,” Hudson Guild, New York, New York

“Movers and Shakers,” Montserrat Gallery, Soho, New York

“The Achievers,” Mutual Life Gallery, Kingston, Jamaica

“International Exhibition,” The Artisan Gallery, Kingston, Jamaica

“Stars & Stripes Escoffery,” Bronx Town Hall, Bronx, New York

“Abstract Elements Escoffery,” Whitehall Gallery, New York, New York

“Modern Contemporary Art,” Chim Gregg Art Gallery, La Puenta, California

“Michael Escoffery Oils and Pastels,” La Petite Gallery, Burlington, Vermont

“Escoffery at Maska International Gallery,” Seattle, Washington

“Escoffery Drawings and Works on Paper,” Whitehall Gallery, New York, New York

“New York Happening,” Die Treppe Galeris, Stuttgart, Germany

“Nurtingen Town Hall,” West Germany

“Firmabirk, Gmbit,” Nurtingen/Stuttgart, Germany

“Istron Bay Hotel,” Crete, Greece

“Escoffery Untitled,” Savacou Gallery, New York, New York

“400 Years of My People,” Bronx Town Hall, New York

“400 Years of My People,” Harvard University, Boston, MA

“Michael Escoffery Paintings,” AT&T Bell Labs, New Jersey

1990

“Contemporary Black Artist,” 843 Studio Gallery, New York, New York

“USA-Europe,” Gallery Art 54, Soho, New York

“Soho on the Run,” Montserrat Gallery, Soho, New York

“The New Generation,” Savacou Gallery, New York, New York

“Artists for AIDS,” Clock Tower Gallery, New York, New York 

1989

“Escoffery,” 3rd Avenue Gallery, Denver, Colorado

Published Works

 

 de 11.

“Summer Madness,”   Mixed Media, 1993, Escoffery.  Online.  Kirchoff Wohlberg, Inc.:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, “Element of Literature”, Course 5, Grade 11.

Summer Madness,”   Mixed Media, 1993, Escoffery.  Used for Editorial.  Sopris West Educational Services.  Language! The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum.

“The Embrace,” Mixed Media, 1996, Escoffery.  Inside.  Black and White.  “Tenderheaded:  A Comb-Bending Collection of Hair,” Pocket Books.

“400 Years of Our People,”   Mixed Media, 1994-1995, Escoffery.  Inside.   Color.  The American Bible Society:   “Jubilee and Good News Bible Samplers.”

“400 Years of Our People,”   Mixed Media, 1994-1995, Escoffery.  Inside.   Color.  NW Florida Newspaper Article, The American Bible Society.

“400 Years of Our People,” Mixed Media, 1994-1995, Escoffery. Inside.  Color.  Oxford University Press: Book of American Children’s Poems, Paperback.

“400 Years of Our People,” Mixed Media, 1994-1995, Escoffery. Inside.  Color.  The American Bible Society:  “African-American Jubilee Edition,”

“400 Years of Our People,” Mixed Media, 1994-1995, Escoffery. Inside.  “Encyclopedia of 20th Century American Literature,” Vol. 1.

“400 Years of Our People,” Mixed Media, 1994-1995, Escoffery.  Blackside, Inc.: “Exodus This Far By Faith.”  Video use.

 

Copyright © MICHAEL ESCOFFERY. All Rights Reserved.

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