Art / Performance / Education
Over time Al Ford’s narrative has been reﬁned and condensed into a self-referential logo head, like an African mask, as well as a pictographic vocabulary of ﬁgures.
In the series Female Nudes which involves several different models, these logo elements have been conﬁned to the background surrounding and occasionally overlapping the ﬁgure.
The strongest and most fascinating element of this particular body of work is the synthesis of the narrative vocabulary of the past with the female ﬁgure. It represents a struggle to relate to the women; both to observe and record their bodies and spirit, as well as to interact with them by making his autobiographical pictographs a part of the picture.
Al Ford attended Vesper George School of Art on the GI Bill shortly after World War II in 1949 and majored in illustration. He worked for a while as an illustrator and cartographer, but it was his yearning to paint big that inspired him in 1956 to return to study at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston, MA. He later had the difficult choice of studying with Henry Hensche or Hans Hoffman – he chose Hensche. “In the 1950s, when I was in art school, it was the era of abstract expressionism; after all these years my art has come full cycle as the new work combines the ﬁgure with abstract expressionist backgrounds.” “The work is about who I am and my experiences,”
Al Ford was one of the founders of Gallery East dating back to 1979.