"B e  I n s p i r e d  &  E n j o y  t h e  J o u r n e y"
Laurence Chandler

Laurence Chandler, American Painter and Contemporary Abstract Expressionist

As with most naturally gifted artists, Laurence Chandler’s interest in art was evident at an early age. His parents and teachers recognized his creative talent and encouraged him to study art. Formally trained thanks to a full scholarship, he earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (1968), Baltimore, MD., and a master's degree in education from Coppin State University  (1976), Baltimore, MD.

Early in his career, Chandler worked as a graphic designer at several U.S. Federal agencies and in corporate advertising. Through his own business, he developed a good reputation as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator for clients such as Howard University, the district of Columbia government and IBM. 

Today, Chandler works full-time as a painter in his Lanham-Maryland studio. And, he is more passionate than ever about art.

As an Abstract Expressionist, Chandler creates mixed-media paintings using fabric, wire, acrylic, paper and found objects on paper and canvas. His paintings are well-crafted works, characterized not only by careful attention to color, form, line and composition, but also highly improvisational and spontaneous techniques. His paintings, like free-form jazz and poetry, suggest human emotions, a narrative, experience or drama, and invite viewers to become interwoven in his art.

His work, both figurative and abstract, is spiritual, colorful, uplifting and provocative, giving it universal appeal. His themes focus on family, political change, cultural experiences and tradition.

Chandler has produced a wide-ranging body of work that is in public and private U.S. collections. His work has been acknowledged in select juried venues and exhibitions in the Washington-DC metro area, Tennessee and California. And, he has self-published numerous works.

When looking to the influence of other artists, Chandler has enormous respect for Abstract, Expressionist, collage and color-field painters. Chief among them are Varnette Honeywood, Sam Gilliam, Jackson Pollock, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Picasso and Peter Paul Rubens.

Artist Statement:

"As an artist, I am inspired by the complete freedom of the abstract form. I create contemporary mixed-media and acrylic paintings, working in an expressive, abstract manner. I start with no pre-conceived idea of what the end result will be. This is a spontaneous process (a personal journey of discovery) that I enjoy, and until I make that first mark on the canvas or paper, I don’t always know what colors or shapes I’ll use, which adds an authentic, honest and organic layer to my work. Using traditional bristle brushes and less conventional tools -- from spray bottles and combs to kitchen utensils -- my signature style emphasizes improvisational techniques and jazz-like expressionistic use of color, line, form, texture, numbers or words and space to represent things that are not visual such as an emotion, a sound, a place, an event or spiritual experience. I am always exploring new avenues of expression and work with a variety of media -- fabric, wire, acrylics, paper or found objects -- which further enhances my expressionism. A somewhat less prominent, but no less fascinating component of my paintings is the contrasting sides of the canvases. I paint patterns on the sides of the canvas which are approximately one to three inches thick, giving a full 180-degree experience with each painting."