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OAF Presents | The Life and Death of Elvis Presley: A Suite

Paintings by Paul Laffoley

March 2–5

Installation of Paul Laffoley's The Life and Death of Elvis Presley: A Suite (1988-1995)

Installation of Paul Laffoley's The Life and Death of Elvis Presley: A Suite (1988-1995)

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015), Prime Elvis (Jan 8, 1956 to Jan 7, 1963: The Fourth Song of the Cells), 1988-1995

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015)

Prime Elvis (Jan 8, 1956 to Jan 7, 1963: The Fourth Song of the Cells), 1988-1995

Oil, acrylic, vinyl lettering, India ink, linen canvas, velvet drapes and wood

55 x 35 inches

Courtesy Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015), Prime Elvis (Jan 8, 1956 to Jan 7, 1963: The Fourth Song of the Cells) (detail), 1988-1995

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015)

Prime Elvis (Jan 8, 1956 to Jan 7, 1963: The Fourth Song of the Cells) (detail), 1988-1995

Oil, acrylic, vinyl lettering, India ink, linen canvas, velvet drapes and wood

55 x 35 inches

Courtesy Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015), The Remains of a Voice (Jan 8, 1970 to Jan 7, 1977: The Sixth Song of the Cells), 1988-1995

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015)

The Remains of a Voice (Jan 8, 1970 to Jan 7, 1977: The Sixth Song of the Cells), 1988-1995

Oil, acrylic, vinyl lettering, India ink, linen canvas, velvet drapes and wood

55 x 35 inches

Courtesy Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015), The Remains of a Voice (Jan 8, 1970 to Jan 7, 1977: The Sixth Song of the Cells) (detail), 1988-1995

Paul Laffoley (1935-2015)

The Remains of a Voice (Jan 8, 1970 to Jan 7, 1977: The Sixth Song of the Cells) (detail), 1988-1995

Oil, acrylic, vinyl lettering, India ink, linen canvas, velvet drapes and wood

55 x 35 inches

Courtesy Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati

Information

OAF Presents The Life and Death of Elvis Presley: A Suite by visionary American artist and architect Paul Laffoley (1935-2015). The series of eight complex paintings, completed in 1995, represents the artist’s interpretation of the distinct phases in the life of Elvis Presley. 

Paul Laffoley is often referred to as a visionary artist who merged his interests in philosophy, literature, science fiction, architecture and spirituality within the practice of painting. For more than 40 years, his work has defied art historical categories in creating a visionary interpretation of the complex world in which we live. From 1966 to the present, his work has been included in over 200 exhibitions around the world at prestigious venues including the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), the Hayward Gallery (London), the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), and the Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin).  Exhibitions from 2013 alone include The Boston Visionary Cell (1971) shown at Kent Fine Art in New York City, Paul Laffoley: Premonitions of the Bauharoque at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and The Alternative Guide to the Universe, a group exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London that traveled to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.  His work has been exhibited internationally including major shows at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2009 and the Hamburger Bahnhoff in Berlin in 2011.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1940, Laffoley studied the classics at Brown University and architecture at Harvard University.  He moved to New York City in 1963 to work as a studio assistant to the visionary artist and architect Frederick Kiesler and was recruited to watch late-night TV for Andy Warhol. He worked with the architectural firm of Emery Roth & Sons on floors 15 -45 of the World Trade Center Towers.  By the mid-1960s he returned to the Boston-Cambridge area to focus his energy on painting.  In combining diagrams, journal entries and spiritual or theoretical explorations, he often incorporated the format of the mandala. His studio became known as the Boston Visionary Cell and, in 1971, it was formally incorporated as a non-profit arts organization encouraging visionary art and architecture.  Never an artist to limit his horizons, Laffoley became a registered architect at the age of 50.  After the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, he was one of many architects to submit design proposals for the Freedom Tower.  He proposed a huge hotel in the style of Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona.

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