Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17th, 5-7 PM
Anna Zorina Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with Baltimore based artist, Charles Mason III. Screaming in silence, my salvation is love (the end) encompasses the past five years of Mason’s work beginning with his time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to his return to his hometown in Maryland. During this period, he explores notions of love, loss and life amidst his community, family, and societal constructs. Mason creates layers of symbols, language, and expressive color by filtering through his feelings and experiences throughout his work.
Mason reflects on generational trauma not only for himself but also black people in America. In Screaming in silence, my salvation is love (the end), the works feature the artist’s evolution of symbols, from targets, clothing, bricks, and most recently flowers. Inspired by David Hammons’ Body Prints, Mason paints flowers to represent black bodies. This theme is central in his work and is a base for symbolic representation.
Language is also a significant layer present in both the titles of the paintings, and the works themselves. Mason’s life-long passion for writing allows him to question himself and process his thoughts. Each title conveys the way he feels as he approaches painting. In many instances he draws from past written work to contextualize his work. His goal is to apply language that is true to him and is reflective of how he felt while creating the work.
Color acts as the expressive tool in Mason’s work. The loud, bright colors serve to incarnate Mason’s distraction when working, while the darker colors indicate his better, soothed mood. Within each layer, Mason communicates his own condition during the conception of the work, while challenging viewers to reflect on their own reaction and past experiences. Every layer builds an artistic language allowing the artist to explore his evolving relationship with himself, his family and the people around him. As a centerpiece of the exhibition, Don’t forget who was here, had to learn again…, encapsulates an accumulation of these layers and evolution as an artist.
Charles Mason III (b. 1990) lives and works in Baltimore, MD. Mason received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2014, and his MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2019. He has curated several shows in Baltimore and Philadelphia. His work has been featured in solo shows in Baltimore, most recently at Goya Contemporary Gallery, and in Philadelphia, at Spillway Collective. Mason’s work has been part of the group exhibitions including A Gathering, HOUSING Gallery, New York City, the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Radical Reading Room, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Breaching the Margins, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, CARPE DIEM, UTA Art Space, Los Angeles, and Surface is only a Material Vehicle for Spirit, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL to name a few. He has work in the permanent collection of the James E. Lewis Museum of Art in Baltimore, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Charles Mason III is also a recipient of Maurice Freed Memorial Prize.