Department of Art Alumni
John Wallace, a professor of painting and drawing at Western, received his BFA from Washington University under Paul Burlin & Carl Holty. He began exhibiting professionally while pursuing studies with artists such as Skowhegan's Henry Varnum Poor, Jack Levine, Ben Shahn and David Smith. After completing his MFA at Indiana University under Alton Pickens, Wallace became involved with physics, an area of interest that would later help launch him on a fifteen year exploration at cosmological themes, for nearly five decades of a professional life in painting.
Wallace was featured in the October 2002, Litchfield County Times Monthly and in Gallery/Studio Feb/Mar 2007
Wallace's art is a combination of current scientific observation and an educated imagination. He works with images from satellites and NASA space probes, and photographs done with his own Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. His subjects range from today's revolutionary findings such as the discovery of quasars, gravitational lensing of light rays, neutrinos, and supernovae (exploding stars), back to Galileo's 17th century, then revolutionary work 'The Starry Messenger, the subject of his 1995 show at Blue Mountain Gallery, and earlier discoveries from ancient Greece, Egypt and England's Stonehenge, an observatory built almost 5000 years ago. Wallace's paintings are entirely based on reality and direct observation, but there is an element to the work that has a surreal quality engendered by aesthetic interpretation. Not so unusual, if you consider that he also studied with one of Paul Klee's best students, Warner Drewes, and got a firm grounding in Klee's concepts and didactics.