A Painter for Our Time

installation and painting series by Adam Turl

the story:

This is a reproduction of the studio of Calvin Williams. In 1999 Calvin, a failed painter, became involved in anti-capitalist politics and stopped making art. In 2009 Calvin was fired from his typesetting job at a progressive non-profit book publisher. He fell into a deep depression that was only (temporarily) broken when he began a series of abstract paintings about the U.S. Civil War.

After his unemployment ran out Calvin worked as a barista but was unable to pay his rent. He moved home to St. Louis and stayed with his brother's family. They allowed him use of a single room to continue painting. Calvin desperately tried to find an image, a process or combination of images that would salvage both his own life and the idealistic dreams of his youth.

Neglecting his health, and once again fallen into despair, Calvin passed away in December 2014.

A Painter for Our Time (2014). Acrylic, cotton, concrete, newspaper, mixed-media and ash with sharpie on canvas, found objects, lights, newspapers.

installed at the Safe Space at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts