Undergraduate Sutton Allen’s Artwork Published in Peer-reviewed Journal

“These works explore painterly approaches to image generation and appropriation and reference contemporary and historical events. They stand to bridge the divide between the present and history and between history and memory.”—Sutton Allen

Sutton Allen. Catiline. Oil & mixed-media on canvas.

Sutton Allen, a junior art and design major, was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (UReCA). Allen works primarily in oil and his current series explores iconography and images of antiquity. One of his published pieces, “Catiline,” features an abstract depiction of president Trump surrounded by microphones that was inspired by a photograph he saw in The New York Times.

Looking closely at Allen’s work, one can see the multiple layers that he meticulously applies and the various experimental effects he utilizes in order to generate his desired outcome. “This body of work was very much experimental. The only controls I used were the canvas and the paint,” said Allen. “I did not want to be restricted by limitations or traditions so I chose to use a lot of non-traditional materials.” Allen first applied a layer of oil paint and then followed up with non-traditional materials like plaster, spray paint, and various chemicals.

Allen’s body of work is very much conceptual and was intended to generate a response to icons. He has researched public sculpture extensively, with a particular interest in the public sculpture of St. Louis. “I am really interested in the reoccurrence of antique imagery and how we deal with our antique past. Take for instance, the removal of the Confederate monument in Forest Park,” commented Allen, “it came down because of what it represented. This is what is of particular interest to me—the history of form and why it came into existence in the first place.”

Some of Allen’s work will be on display in Art & Design’s Annual Student Juried Exhibition. The exhibition will be on display through February 8. You can view Allen’s published work here: http://www.nchc-ureca.com/research-in-contemporary-painting.html

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