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John Ferry

United Kingdom

8 Works exhibited

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  • About the Artist


“Ferry’s works reveal the aesthetic beauty of the overlooked and forgotten urban environments and brilliantly portrays the cycle of change in our cities,” said Will Hipps, Art Museum and Gallery Director at Kennesaw State University.

John Ferry's paintings are inspired by his love of architecture and his love of paint. Though his paintings, Ferry has explored the urban architecture of the cities where he has lived, places like Decatur, IL, where he grew up, Kansas City, New York and Baltimore. In those works, the faded industrial energy of the 19th and early 20th city, with its history of decay and renewal, inspired Ferry's vision.
Today, Ferry lives in a mid-century house and his inspiration comes from an exploration of the architecture of that time designed by architects looking to the future, Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and others. This architecture, much of it of the suburb, is the foundation for his newest series of paintings. Mid-century architecture expresses the optimism, dreams and ideals of a particular time in American history, the mid-century mark, and provides a near perfect structure for Ferry to continue to explore his lived experience through color, texture, space and light.
John Ferry is currently an Associate Professor, Illustration, at the Kansas City Art Institute. Ferry has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY, NY and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute.    His work is in the collection of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; The Wichita Center for the Arts, KS; Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO; Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas City, MO; DST Systems, Kansas City, MO; American Century, Kansas City, MO and numerous others.

"For the past 20 years, my work has focused on documenting the various cities in which I’ve lived,…cities like Decatur, IL, where I was born, to Kansas City, New York and Baltimore. I use the citys’ architecture as a starting point to explore my vision as an urban industrial-scape painter. 
My newest series of paintings are a tribute to my appreciation and love of mid-century modern architecture. I currently live in a mid-century modern home in Prairie Village, KS, our second “Drummond” built home.  My father’s interest in Frank Lloyd Wright and the history and visual impact of his architecture, undoubtedly helped spawn my own interest.  I grew up in a home directly in back of an original Frank Lloyd Wright designed home, #2 Millikin Place. There were three houses designed by Mr. Wright and his firm within this same block. My father used to give neighborhood tours and describe Wright’s Prairie Style influences. These homes provided a rich environment,…one I keep coming back to for inspiration and education. You’ll see in my recent series of paintings many versions of similar scenes that explore composition, drama, color, light and space. I’ve also included a couple of paintings of my grandfather Oscar Bardelmeier’s tools. He was an amazing craftsman and took great care of his supplies. I’ve tried to honor his craftsmanship with my execution.

I’ve been influenced by many artists and art movements. Starting with Richard Diebenkorn and the Bay Area Figurative Art group to Willem de Kooning and the Abstract Expressionists and most recently Charles Sheeler and the Precisionism movement.
As a painter I’m very interested in studying and reading about artists and art history. During my junior year of college, I was shown two paintings of scissors by Richard Diebenkorn.  While I’ve been blessed to see the Sistine Chapel, Mona Lisa and La Grande Jatte, nothing has moved or inspired me like those scissors. I painted bad examples of scissors all day that day, but I was moved to paint. I’ve been searching for my “scissors” ever since. I believe I found them in my urban-scape paintings inspired by the architecture of the cities I’ve lived in".

Works by John Ferry

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