MFA - University of New Orleans
MBA - Auburn University
BS/BA - Auburn University
1988 - 2014
Benjamin Distinguished Professor of Music and Fine Arts - Loyola University, New Orleans.LA
Computer-Based Imaging, Senior Show, Foundations
1987 - 1989
Instructor - Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, LA
1981 - 1987
Instructor - University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Management Strategy and Policy
1979 - 1981
Graduate Teaching Assistant - University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Beginning Drawing, Art Structure and Design, Beginning Painting, Art Appreciation
Assistant Director of Gallery
1977 - 1979
Owner/Manager - Artworks Gallery and Genesis Graphics, Florence, AL
Retail gallery and commercial art service
1971 - 1976
Instructor - University of North Alabama, Florence, A.
Tenured Instructor in Management of Sales, Personnel, Production, Small Business,
and Human Relations
1970 - 1971
Staff Artist - Auburn Educational Television, Auburn, AL
Exhibitions and Honors
Invitational Exhibition, “BYOB”, Good Children Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Twenty visual and literary works published in B2L2 Magazine/Blog
Piece “Ab Ex” acquired by University Art Museum, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Collection of Paul and Lulu Hillard
Bio in New Orleans Review of Art, “HxWxD” Invitational Exhibition
Inaugural Exhibition, MIcaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Invitational Exhibition, Selected University of New Orleans MFA Alumni, (Catalogue), UNO Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Appointed Benjamin Distinguished Professor of Music and Fine Art
Invitational Two-Person Exhibition, “Digital Delay”, Micaela Gallery, Catalogue, San Francisco, CA
Invitational Group Exhibition, “Bridge Art Fair”, Miami, FL
Invitational Group Exhibition, “Bridge Art Fair”, NY, NY
Distinguished Professor in Research Award, College of Music and Fine Art, Loyola University, LA
Invitational Exhibition, “Pencil and Paper”, Diboll, Gallery, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
Invitational Exhibition, “The Making of a Book”, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
Published Private Edition, “365”, 400 page limited edition text to accompany a three year long project “365”
Collaborative Performance Invitational, “COcodeDE”, ArtSounds, One Hour Long Collaborative Performance with two virtuoso pianists, multi-channel video, digital sound, original musical compositions, and vocal performance, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
Lecture, Foundations Program, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
Group Invitational Exhibition, New Art/New Media, Carroll Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Group Invitational Exhibition, Second Line, Ad Hoc Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Louisiana ATLAS Individual Research Grant, Board of Regents, Baton Rouge, LA
Group Invitational Exhibition, “The Book”, NOCCA Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Group Invitational Exhibition, Giola Art Gallery Invitational Exhibition, Chicago, IL, December
Group Invitational Exhibition, Marias Press Invitational Exhibition, University of Louisiana Lafayette
Digital Media Consultant/Image Production on Ochsner Hospital Healing Arts Visual Environments
Invited Artist Residency - Tirolatelier at Kuenstlerhaus Buechsenhausen, August 5 - 22, 2002, Innsbruck, Austria
Invitational Exhibition - Catalogue - Galerie im Andechshof, Innsbruck, Austria
Invitational Exhibition -"Digital Louisiana", Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA
Juried Invitational - "The Triennial Exhibition", New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Invitational Exhibition - Invited - "The Florence Biennale", Florence, Italy
Retrospective Exhibition - Catalogue - "Gerald L. Cannon - Then and Now", Clark Hall Gallery, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA
Two Person Invitational Exhibition -"Digital Art in New Orleans", Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA
Invitational Exhibition – Catalogue – Traveling – "Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship Winners", Baton Rouge Gallery, Alexandria Museum, Diboll Gallery
Invitational Exhibition – Catalogue – Traveling – "Visual Poetry", Baton Rouge Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA
One Person Exhibition -"CyberArt", Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA
1997 Two Person Exhibition -"Digital Image", Galerie Christian Siret, Paris, France
International Juried Exhibition -"The Bridge" - SIGGRAPH '96 Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art Center and Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
National Invitational Exhibition - "Olympics 96", Center for Art, Culture and Technology, New York, NY and Atlanta, GA.
National Invitational Exhibition - "CompuArt@unomaha", University of Nebraska at Omaha Art Gallery, Omaha NE
Distinguished Alumni of the Year - "University of New Orleans Department of Liberal Arts", New Orleans, LA
Grant Recipient - "Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund", $105,000 Electronic Multimedia Laboratory, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
One Person Exhibition -"Unfounded Objects", Still-Zinsel Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Fellowship Recipient - Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Atlanta, GA
Fellowship Recipient - Louisiana Division of the Arts, Baton Rouge, LA
Grant Recipient - "Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund", $142,000 Computer Based Imaging Laboratory, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
One Person Exhibition -"FAMILIES", Still-Zinsel Gallery, New Orleans, LA
One Person Exhibition -"Trappings", Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Group Invitational Exhibition - Traveling- Catalogue -"Fact,Fiction, Fantasy", University of Tennessee Art Museum, Knoxville, TN
Group Exhibition - "Chicago International Art Exhibition", Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
National Invitational Exhibition -"Alter Ego", DeSaisset Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
One Person Exhibition -"The Bob Show", Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Fellowship Recipient -"Southeast VII", Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC
One Person Exhibition - Foster Goldstrom Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
One Person Exhibition - Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA
One Person Exhibition -"Every Good Boy Does Fine", Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA
One Person Exhibition -"Gerald Cannon", Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
Juried Exhibition -"Birmingham Biennial", Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA
University of North Alabama, Florence, AL
Pan American Life Insurance Company, New Orleans, LA
Atlantic Richfield, Lafayette, LA
Prudential Life, Newark, NJ
Fritz Hundertvasser, Austria
The Ogdon Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Clark Hall Gallery, SLU, Hammond, LA
Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
I have, in recent years, become most concerned with methods of communication. Essentially, this translates into issues of how all forms of code are constructed and manipulated. Utilizing digital coding presents a thoroughly new medium with which to reexamine all codes.
Confusion and questions seem to proliferate in encoding and decoding. Even digital coding exposes questions of how one might accurately distinguish discrete (digital) systems from analog systems. My sense is that all perceptual systems are sampling systems (i.e. discrete in fundamental structure). Further, I feel that these coding systems are prone to “sampling” errors. Hence, our perception of motion, sound, color, even reality itself are not analog, as we conceive, but often even less accurate “discrete” systems than computer technology provides. All codes then are little more than algorithms in form and fact and, hence, like art itself, only mimic reality and feign truth via reductivist methods.
At this point in time these codes can be digitally woven into meta-codes where sound creates image and words create motion, etc., etc. This almost magical misdirection of intent leads to questions about how we perceive along with what we perceive. My work weaves this misdirection into art that often reveals its own flaws and the flaws of the codes connecting it to other systems. It can lead to two simultaneous, though mutually exclusive, conclusions, hence questioning even its own viability as art or communication.
My work premise has been that any thoroughly developed, internally consistent system, followed intently, will lead to a form that is beautiful, valid expression - in other words, art. What we have regularly accepted as truth and/or reality often has little to bring to bear on the truth and reality of this literally unfounded outcome. As I construct such systems, they tend to fail as simple aesthetic expression and/or self-aware ironically bound expression. In existing on both levels, they tend to fail on one level or the other. The end product is a kind of phantom expression of any thoroughly coded communication as art and vice versa. Little actually validates its value as either.
Southern Arts Federation/NEA - Catalogue Essay
For about ten years, Gerald Cannon has explored the fabrications, motivations and illusions that effect the ways people lead their lives. He has used an ever-changing variety of materials: wood and plaster, acrylic paint and ink, metal and plastic, photographs and computer-altered images on paper. Eschewing any signature style, his approach has been as varied as his materials. What has remained constant is Cannon's creation of fractured narratives, fictional situations where images of Dad and Mom, or unfriendly neighbors and local psychos, are part of a story whose outcome remains unclear.
As central to Cannon's output as his changing media is his use of language and written text. Most often, words serve as uneasy commentaries on the images rather than as descriptive tools. This dysfunction between image and text is, of course, a key aspect of postmodernism, and reflects a loss of belief in the ability to represent facts and truth. Consequently, Cannon resorts to the creation of non-linear narratives where images and text are unclear and their meaning can only be intuited by the observer. In this respect, Cannon's paintings reference surrealism as well as postmodernism -- they are not logical, but rather show a fractured world where images and materials are separate and compartmentalized.
In Left/Right, Cannon's longtime interest in fictional narrative is so disjointed as to obscure any storyline or meaning. Blankness and emptiness (areas of white, black, yellow or raw wood) are the states of being against which human activity nervously unfolds. The focus on anonymous male and female figures is vaguely medical but also fetishistic, hinting at pornography.
Unlike surrealism, this work is not a subconscious, passive outpouring of a dream, but a conscious and careful commentary. Like much postmodern work, Cannon's latest objects reflect a self-conscious awareness of art history and draw freely on quotations from others. The observant viewer will note, in Left/Right, references to Warhol's diptychs comprised of one image-laden canvas against a totally blank one; to David Salle's images of females taken from pornographic magazines as well as his superimposition of three-dimensional elements onto a painted surface; and to John Baldessari's use of the dot to suggest obliteration of identity. There is even a hint of Mondrian and the DeStijl movement in the overall composition.
What distinguishes Cannon's postmodern approach is a latent idealism that can creep into even the most bleak images. He seems to share with early modernists the hope that he cannot bring himself to wholly discard belief. Instead doubting his ability to represent truth, he erects in its place a new fictional world that indeed has value for us. The creation of an invented narrative offers a way to engage the spectator in a quest for meaningful experience, frustrating though it may be. Cannon's approach sometimes seems to contradict itself. However, while risking failure, the artist's attempt is very much worth our consideration. His work offers a poignant metaphor for each of us as we seek the goal of spiritual, ethical and psychological understanding.
Mitchell D. Kahan Director - Akron Museum of Art
Gerald L. Cannon: Postmodern Portraits - Review
A remarkable and brilliant treat awaits the art lover at Still-Zinsel on Julia. Gerald Cannon's "Installation: Unfounded Objects" may be the season's best show and is badly needed proof that the postmodern arts need not be hurried, thoughtless, or flip to be postmodern. Something else is at play, which makes Cannon's works postmodern. First of all, Cannon's installation utilizes more than one genre. We have statuary that resemble the "found objects" so popular in primitivist art, a neat move that questions the possibility of naive theories of representation. But juxtaposed, perhaps even "framing" the primitivist forest of odd statues, are photographs of fictive persons and at least one non-fictive person, if any of us are anything but elaborate fictions. The effect is marvelous. The primitivist denial of representation is itself revealed to he a representation. When we look at those haunting photographs of ordinary, ugly people and then glance at their statuary, we know that the statuary pieces do re-present. What we don't know, and in keeping with the best of the postmodern moves, is which comes first, the photograph or the statue, the reality or the fiction.
Then Cannon muddies the water. There is also narrative to contend with words to amuse and confuse us, words that muddy the calm waters of representation. A story of sorts attends each photograph. The story itself is like a photograph, a snap-shot. Note the importance of the hyphen here in "snap shot," the marked boundary; in "snap shot," according to Webster's, one takes quick aim without any plan and shoots. Gerald Cannon rather is a deliberate artist. The snap-shot represents but also misrepresents because it is planned. No life is ever summed up in one photo or one short narrative, but no life can be summed up without that one photo or narrative.
But Cannon doesn't stop just there. He "installs" these pieces, which are "unfounded”. He takes a key metaphor or image of our world, the fact or the fear that we are not "founded,'' that is established and protected by higher authorities, that we are in fact and deed rootless, unnatural because there is no such thing as nature or natural. Another "but" rears its grammatically awkward head: we are founded after all; we can all be installed because we can be photographed, written about, imagined, lied about, misrepresented, played with in revealing but kinky statues. The artistic insight is troubling. To claim to be "unfounded" is to confess to having been founded first. To claim itself is at issue. If we are unfounded, our claims are unfounded, that is, unwarranted, lies. That's it: we are founded in our unfoundedness, our very ability, if not tendency, to misrepresent.
Cannon installs and names his unfounded objects. These installed pieces are his (mis)representations of persons. The names themselves are funny, humorous, as only names can be: Stanford S. Peters, Felix D. Calhoun, Robert A. Mann, Dooley Sutton, etc. Each name is a play, but could also be a name, and yet by labeling these persons, or these statuesque snap-shots "objects," Cannon denies that they are persons. Their narratives claim that they are, perhaps even the photos do as well; they look real. The quirky statues, however, call personhood into question. We are only exaggerations of the realistic portraits we claim to be. Or are we? Look at "Dooley Sutton" again. Which is more frightening, his realistic photo or his primitivist statue?
Cannon's exhibition is worthy of more than one look-see and his installations would surely add something to our collections and homes. The accompanying catalogue Unfounded Objects 1947 is simply delightful and more than worth its price. If you can't buy these installations, read the catalogue and glimpse what Kafka must have seen when he looked into his own confused heart.
Jesse W. Nash
Gerald L. Cannon - Review One Person Exhibition 1984 Worlds Fair
A magician with materials, Gerald Cannon molds plaster, wood, metal, ink, and paint into objects that seem like fragments from some communal American past. His vision of suburban living reveals what the artist calls "domestic untranquility" rather than domestic bliss. Each carefully fabricated object begins a story whose end is only suggested. And the unknown ending always evokes apprehension. Unspecified dangers seem to lurk in the heart of suburbia, at the beach house, at the shopping center, on the rooftop, even in the front yard. Subjects such as sunbathing, child raising, suburban entertainment and even motherhood are presented in a critical, anxious eye. In Patio Scene, Cannon reminds us of the ideal way in which we are supposed to present ourselves - by smiling and dressing correctly. We see the quintessential American discount store in Aftermath, while Landscape shows a perfectly bucolic country scene. But the landscape is surrounded by a geometric straightjacket and encased within a plastic skin. Even the cherished concept of motherhood becomes a disquieting topic filled with haunting questions and intimations of danger. In one work, mother’s stockings are awry; in another, five mothers have their eyes masked by white strips, anonymous victims whose identities must be concealed.
Often, Cannon's detailed objects are like relics. There seem to be the product of some eccentric tinkerer at work in his garage. Usually, the artist presents fragments of things: a partial torso, a piece of a puzzle, a broken section of plaster, or one corner of a building. This gives an impression of incompleteness, reminding us that we do not know the whole story behind what we see. When the images are coated with a resinous layer of plastic, a spooky, embalmed effect results. The controlled architecture of elaborate frames and the frequent use of metal screws impart a sensation of pressure and containment. In some cases, the images seem entrapped within their frames. The human figures are usually airbrushed, using black and the three primary colors. A yellow tint sprayed over the finished image gives an aged quality, creating a resemblance to old photographs. The overall effect lies somewhere between reality and fantasy.
Cannon asks us to examine the assumptions about middle-class life that were common after World War II. Often, he sabotages the innocent storybook world of childhood with an adult's anxiety. He lets us know that life is much more distressing than our platitudes would allow. Yet these works remain poetry, not propaganda. They question rather than denounce, and their underlying wit keeps them from becoming too mournful. There is an absurdity to the rigid forms of sunbathing men, to the mother's disheveled stockings, and to the man at the beach in a suit. And this absurdity makes Cannon's vision fascinating, not bleak. Viewing these works is like witnessing a drama that is foreign yet strangely familiar. Many of Cannon's images derive from the magazines, textbooks and advertisements of our youth, and the mysterious narratives they enact raise probing questions about our values, past and present.
Mitchell D. Kahan Director, Akron Museum of Art