Bill Flynn: War Drawings at Victoria Munroe Fine Art

I went to the opening reception for my SMFA colleague Bill Flynn’s exhibition “War Drawings: 2004-2008” at Victoria Munroe Fine Art in Boston. I’ve discussed his work previously on this blog when he published a catalog of his drawings about a year ago. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to work with him at SMFA over the past few years. When I was a student, I was so conservative and stubborn, and I know looking back that I relied on my technical skill far too much to compensate for my general lack of content. Bill is a teacher who would have really challenged that, and who wouldn’t have accepted my insistence on straightforward representation at the time. He’s the kind of teacher who I wish I had been able to study with during my years as an undergraduate student. Most of the time at SMFA all of us are in our classrooms, and there will be times that I only see certain faculty at the beginning and end of the semester, simply because our schedules don’t line up. Bill and I are both in on Mondays, and I’ve always gotten a lot out of our discussions about process and drawing, no matter how fleeting or short they sometimes have to be because we’re both on our way to class.

For the drawings in this exhibition, Bill has been drawing one armed chair for four years now which has served as a vehicle for discussing the war. I’ve read through his catalog several times, but this was my first opportunity getting to see the work in person. It was exciting to see charcoal drawings that were so much about the physicality of the experience of drawing. Recently I feel like so much contemporary drawing I’ve seen has been about being exceptionally compulsive or obsessive, and it was refreshing to see someone who is really engaged physically with the act of making a mark.


2 thoughts on “Bill Flynn: War Drawings at Victoria Munroe Fine Art

  1. Hey Bill Blast from the past ,I was a student in the 70s you were my favorite teacher at museum school. I was on the class trip to the beach to draw the closed amusement park. What a gas that was glad to see you are still teaching and more important sketching and painting. I became an architectural artist designing and producing custom fireplaces,columns,etc. in Fl. Calif,NY.etc. building bubble burst and now like you have gone back to painting. Hope you show in fla. take care. Sue Windecker

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