ANDREW REACH FULL CIRCLE
b. 1961 Miami Beach, currently in Cleveland, Ohio At the heart of Andrew Reach there will always be an Architect. A piece of him lives in this museum as he was Project Architect of this building. But his path took a strange and difficult turn and he was suddenly severed from his work on the museum just as it began construction. Little did he know at the time that his journey would lead to making art as his path to creative liberation. It is a testament to his perseverance with his struggle with a disease of his spine that he has come full circle back to this building with his art hanging on these walls. Reach suffers from a disease of the spine known as Scheuermann’s Kyphosis, a form of scoliosis where the spine curves forward. Over the years his curvature worsened to the point that his internal organs would be impacted and surgery was required. His first surgery in January 2003 involved a multi level spinal fusion assisted by rods and screws to correct the curvature. This fusion comprised more than two thirds of his spine. About a year and a half after the surgery he had a rare complication called Spondylolisthesis. As his surgeon explained it to him in lay terms, “Your head is falling off your spine.” He would require another complex surgery extending the rods and screws to structurally pull the spine back into alignment. This second surgery was performed in November 2004. Feeling marooned while lying in a hospital bed and falling deeper into despair, Bruce Baumwoll, his partner of 28 years, encouraged him to try and create art on the computer during the limited time he could sit upright. He began teaching himself Photoshop so that he could have an outlet for his pent-up creativity. This was the beginning of an odyssey of self awareness and personal expression that continues in his work today.
OUT OF MY MIND, 2008
Boxed-in Boogie Woogie, 2008
44 inches x 74 inches
Reach chose the digital medium out of necessity, because the act of painting would be too physical. Reach’s many interests inhabit the large format digital prints he and his partner Baumwoll collaboratively print at home. Utilizing the latest in digital printing technology, he creates large format archival prints, at sizes up to 90 inches long, in some instances consisting of biological references to his body in the form of abstracted vertebra forms, and further at the cellular level, as he imagines his connective tissue being the source of the debilitating pain he still suffers from. Many of Reach’s interests including 20th century modern art, eastern traditions, Buddhist Mandalas, Sufi Whirling Dervishes, Islamic patterns and African art become transformed through the lens of his chosen digital medium. His imagination, traveling inwards, also travels outwards in the unique worlds that he creates. Many works include his carefree ‘Whimsies’: unencumbered beings free of the constraints of gravity. They represent an escape hatch -- an alternative place for Reach to inhabit, free from his battles with his body. Behind all of this lies the biggest reward for Andrew Reach; to be able to inspire others and bring attention to the power of art not only to enrich our lives, but to heal them, as well. Andrew Reach's art has been exhibited in solo and international juried exhibitions in Miami; New York; Burlington, Vermont; San Francisco; Chicago and Cleveland.
( Cover Art: There’s No Place to Hide, 2008
Ed. of 3
40 inches x 70 inches )
A Tailor's Sample Cut From A Bolt of Summer, 2008
24 inches x 71 inches
44 inches x 44 inches
Exhibition Checklist 1. There's No Place To Hide, 2008 Edition 3/3 44 inches x 74 inches
2. Boxed-in Boogie Woogie, 2008 Edition 3/3 44 inches x 44 inches
3. A Day At The Races, 2008 Edition 3/3 44 inches x 64 inches
4. Wandering Whimsies, 2006 AP 44 inches x 74 inches
5. Orbital Whimsy, 2008
6. Industry Whimsy, 2007 Edition 3/9 44 inches x 74 inches
7. Molten Mystic, 2008 Edition 3/3 44 inches x 74 inches
8. OUT OF MY MIND, 2008 Edition 3/3 44 inches x 74 inches
9. A Tailor's Sample Cut From A Bolt of Summer, 2008 Edition 1/3 24 inches x 71 inches
Edition 3/3 44 inches x 54 inches
Industry Whimsy, 2007
44 inches x 74 inches
I have never met Andrew Reach, but I know that his mark is on the architectural details of this building and that he is a special person and an artist. When I was first told his story by Yann Weymouth and looked at his web page, I had to look further into his work and find a way to exhibit it in the new museum that he was never able to complete. The images were powerful and beautiful, even without knowing the story of his physical pain. It was not difficult to imagine them on the new white walls and a location was quickly found and the prints delivered. What was truly wonderful on my computer was even more impressive in reality. It is an honor to hang the works of Andrew Reach and to pay tribute to his journey full circle. Carol Damian
I wish to thank Yann Weymouth and Carol Damian for making this exhibition a reality. I wish to also thank the following people for their encouragement and support: Joan Reach; Ellen Baumwoll; Julie, Karen & James Reibel; Xavier Cortada & JC Espinosa;Carol & Franklin Milgrim; Kathi & James Grossman; and to Stephanie Guasp for her assistance in creating this catalog. Special thanks to my life partner Bruce Baumwoll for his strength and love and for sharing the journey.
Molten Mystic , 2008
44 inches x 74 inches
R e a c h:
Published on Nov 21, 2008
Andrew Reach was working as an architect on the Frost Art Museum when his career ended because of a crippling spinal disease. In an effort t...