Sprick to premiere newest works
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – He is already known for the weightlessness of objects in his ethereal-style paintings. But Dan Sprick’s new still-life works reflect light against the shadowy artistry of man’s skeletal being in a way he has never expressed before.Sprick premieres his 2006-07 works at the CMC Gallery in Glenwood Springs through June 9, before the collection goes to New York for exhibit. Sprick is a Glenwood Springs resident, well-known national artist and part-time CMC arts instructor. His work is displayed at the Denver Art Museum, as well as the National Museum of American Art – Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver, and the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Mass.
Sprick’s new work depicts linen-draped tables with elegant jeweled boxes, mirrors and roses in glass vases of reflective water – along with bone fragments, sickles, knives and human skeletons hanging in the shadows amongst paintbrushes in jars. The dichotomy of the freshness of elegant flowers against the dark finality of his backgrounds is something he leaves to the viewer to interpret.”I have no rhyme or reason for what I paint,” Sprick said. “It’s a nonrational thought process, yet intuitive. I have two human skeletons, and I am drawn to them because they are compelling, powerful, symbolic, even in an aesthetic sense. They are testaments to the spirits that have gone before them,” he said. “I like the way the light catches on their forms; they are a form of the body itself, and its biomechanical, anthropological and iconographic composition. But more than anything, I like the way they look. I want something to resonate with the primordial nature of things in every viewer.”Meanwhile, Sprick plays with fresh light in his new works. He lets muted northern light stream into his studio, then he covers a large mirror in cellophanes of oceanic colors, and reflects it back on his still-life artifacts to capture iridescence in his nonreflective subjects.
“The mirror provides a secondary light source. It has a warm and cool distinction between light and shadow,” Sprick said. “I want the foreground elements to be clear and the background soft. I used to paint with a single directed light source like Rembrandt; that is how I painted for 25 years. But now I am seeing subjects with multiple light sources, and a mirror is so much better to use because it reflects light in the same proportion to the angle of natural light.”Defining the contrast between the light and dark in his paintings is something Sprick wants his audience to do.”I can’t tell people things they don’t already know. They are busy being born and busy dying, everyone already knows that,” he said. “Art pieces in the 16th century in Baroque periods were iconographic, using symbols as a nonverbal language. It wasn’t until the last 100-200 years that literacy has become widespread. For that reason, I don’t want obscure symbolism in my art.”
The works Sprick is preparing for New York’s Arcadia Fine Arts Gallery are interrelated through color, composition and light, yet each is different.”I like to have a series of works that interrelate, with a strong linkage from one piece to the next. I like to have the body of work intact, the core of it will go to the exhibit in New York in November.”An artist’s reception for Sprick takes place from 6-9 p.m. today in the gallery at 831 Grand Ave. in downtown Glenwood. For more information, call Alice Beauchamp, CMC Center for Excellence in the Arts director, at 947-8367, or visit http://www.cmccearts.org or http://www.danielsprick.com.
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