Departmental Philosophy
Artist In Residence
Current Student Work

 

Randy Bolton
Artist-in-Residence Randy Bolton

 

Randy Bolton’s work is characterized by an exploration of images that seem familiar and comforting on first glance, but become strange and disturbing on further consideration. His prints borrow from and adapt the nostalgia-evolving illustrations of early children’s books and science texts. In their original contexts these pictures served as visual tools to help educate young minds about acceptable morals and beliefs. In his work, however, Bolton has reclaimed these illustrations with a more subversive intent. By digitally altering and recombining fragments of these old illustrations, new meanings are suggested in which an undercurrent of uncertainty or apprehension undermines the initial flash of familiarity and comfort. Images originally intended to reflect childhood security and innocence become ironic metaphors of a chaotic world that is threatened by forces beyond our true comprehension and control. Bolton’s work is about the power these illustrations have in shaping our view of the world as children, followed by the disillusionment that occurs when these images fail us as adults. Despite the seemingly amusing quality of the images he employs, there is an element of concern in Bolton’s work and a vague feeling that the valuable things in life are in jeopardy.

 

Born in Dallas, TX in 1956, Randy Bolton received a BFA from the University of North Texas in 1978 and a MFA from the Ohio State University in 1982. Bolton has taught in many visiting artist positions across the country, including four years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1989-2002, Bolton was Professor of Art and Printmaking Area Coordinator at the University of Delaware. In 2002, Bolton was appointed Head of the Print Media Department and Artist in Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Bolton’s work has been widely exhibited in one-person, invitational and juried shows since 1982. Recent one-person exhibitions include “Twice-Told Tales” at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Michigan; “Two Sides to Every Story” at Littlejohn Contemporary in New York; "Books of Nonsense" at Evergreen House in Baltimore, MD; "Things Are Rarely What They Seem" and “Chase, Tumble, Slide” at Schmidt/Dean Gallery in Philadelphia. Recent group exhibitions include “The Altered Landscape” at Hines Lobby Gallery in NYC, “Three Americans” at the Glasgow Print Studio in Scotland, “Illustration Bitter & Sweet” at Ruffin Gallery in Charlottesville, VA, “Trouble in Paradise: Examining Discord Between Nature and Society” at the Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; “Tales From an Imaginary Menagerie”, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA; “Inner Child: Good and Evil in the Garden of Memories” at the Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, NJ; “I’d Rather Be Drawing” at the Dennis Morgan Gallery in Kansas City, MO; "New Prints 2004/Spring" at the International Print Center in NYC; "Popular, Pop & Post-Pop: Color Screenprints, 1930s to Now" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; "Look Out" at Revolution Gallery in Ferndale, MI; “Digital: Printmaking Now” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; "Sculptural Prints" and “Digital Press: Artists Exploring New Technologies” at the Print Center in Philadelphia and “Sight/Insight” at the New York Public Library. Bolton has completed artist residencies at the Frans Masereel Center in Kasterlee, Belgium, the Evergreen House in Baltimore, the MacDowell Art Colony in New Hampshire, Yaddo in New York and the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. Bolton’s prints are in many corporate and museum collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago and the New York Public Library. Bolton received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in 2000, an Art Matters Fellowship (NYC) in 1996 and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1989.

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Broken Rainbow, 2013. Digital prints on canvas and vinyl, cast sculptural objects (UltraCal and foam resin), wood, paint, and sand. Approx. 9 ft. (h) x 14 ft. (w) x 6 ft. (d).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
House of Cards, 2013. Digital print on canvas, cast sculptural objects (UltraCal), wood, paint, and sand. Approx. 9 ft. (h) x 14 ft. (w) x 6 ft. (d).

 

Recent Exhibitions



Selected Bibliography

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Laughter + Applause, 2013. Digital prints on canvas and vinyl, cast sculptural objects (UltraCal), wood, paint, and sand. Approx. 9 ft. (h) x 14 ft. (w) x 6 ft. (d).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Democracy Will Prevail, 2013, two-panel screenprint, 30” x 22” (each panel).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
We Sell + You Buy, 2013, two-panel screenprint, 30” x 22” (each panel).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Have a Terrific, Great, Nice, OK Day, 2013, screenprint, 22” x 30”.

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Your Future, 2012. Digital prints on canvas, wood, cast plaster objects, paint, light bulbs. Approx. 9 ft. (h) x 8 ft (w) x 8 ft. (d).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Your Satisfaction, 2012. Digital prints on canvas and vinyl, cast plaster objects, paint, foam, steel. Approx. 9 ft (h) x 12 ft. (w) x 2 ft. (d).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Quiet & Quieter, 2012. Screenprinted images on wood, cast plaster and wax objects, paint. Approx. 4 ft. (h) x 6 ft. (w) x 2 ft. (d).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
All the Days (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow), 2012. Screenprinted images on sintra, wood, cast plaster objects, paint. Approx. 8 ft. (w) x 3 ft. (h) x 2.5 ft. (d).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Nothing More, Nothing Less, 2011, 2-panel digital banner print on canvas with sculptural objects (foam, ink, paint, sand), approx. 8 ft. (H) x 16 ft. (W) x 6 ft. (D).

 

Randy Bolton
Randy Bolton
Installation view of Nowhere Backwards exhibition at Des Lee Gallery, St. Louis, MO, 2012. Two-sided digital banners on canvas with sculptural objects (wood, paint, screenprinting ink)