Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Edited Abstracts: Tulsa Art Studio Tour Artist Jim Polan

This post is part of our series on Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition's Tulsa Art Studio Tour 2014. A self-guided tour, the Tulsa Art Studio Tour showcases the talent of artists who live and work in Tulsa.Today we are featuring Tour artist Jim Polan. 

Coming from a family of artists, Polan grew up under the influence of Abstract Expressionism; his father studied under famous Armenian-American Ab ex painter Arshile Gorky. Gorky was one of his favorite painters, long before he knew of his father's history with him.

Jim Polan, Fox Opera In The Deep Wood, oil and graphite on canvas, triptych, 40x90"
In his process, Polan's work starts representational that becomes abstract, calling these works "edited abstracts". There is usually a flurry of activity at first where he works very quickly. His next step is contemplative; during this time there is observation of what 
has been created with careful attention to the lines. "I worry about becoming too attached to an image before I’ve fully reduced it to its abstract form and that it will be too representational or realistic," he states.

Then the editing occurs where parts of  the canvas are covered, reworked and other magic occurs.  "After they're done they're on their own," says Polan of his work.

Tulsa Art Studio Tour 2014 artist Jim Polan in the studio
Truly a Renaissance Man, Polan, a full-time lawyer at Riggs Abney, has his BFA in Ceramics, his MA in Modern Letters from TU, and a JD in Law from Cornell. His day job allows him to be free to paint what he wants, and not work in a particular subject matter or signature style. In the past, Polan has been a welder, cabinet maker, forklift driver, and warehouse worker. His background is as diverse as his large body of artwork over his lifetime.

Meet & see the working studio of Polan along with 13 other artists on April 12-13, noon until 5 pm on the Tulsa Art Studio TourFor more info, or to purchase tickets, visit

No comments: