Considered one of America’s leading contemporary realists, Daniel Sprick’s subjects range from extraordinarily realistic portraits to hauntingly contemplative still lifes and urban light filled landscapes. His paintings are wholly contemporary, and subtly blur the line between realism and abstraction.
For his portrait subjects, Sprick has never been attracted to conventional beauty; he instead presents an all embracing view of the human condition, turning his attention to subjects from diverse walks of life and highlighting the non-traditional beauty within each.
Sprick’s exquisite, hyper- realist still lifes recall the Dutch and Flemish traditions. Intimate domestic interiors are infused with an element of the divine. From an empty chair in an abandoned artist’s studio in The Old Studio to an unfinished chocolate bar in 2015’s Chocolate; each object is equally suffused in a quiet, sacred glow.
Also included in the exhibition are several of Sprick’s field studies. In these works painted out of the studio and on location, Sprick employs a more painterly technique, capturing the elusiveness of transitory light. Again he surprises the viewer by shining a light on a potentially gritty urban exterior, but defies expectation by revealing an unexpected beauty in works such as Cherry Creek Near Broadway and Federal Blvd.
There is a tension at play in his work as he explores the dichotomy between realism and abstraction, beauty and grit, tradition and experiment, planned and improvised. He exhibits extraordinary attention to detail, but then by leaving an unfinished edge or a sweeping gestural brushstroke, he reminds us that these are, after all, still paintings.
Born in 1953 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sprick currently lives and works in Denver, CO. Museum shows of his work include the Museum of Outdoor Art in Englewood, Colorado; the Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; the Evansville Museum of Art and Science, Indiana; and the Denver Art Museum. Sprick’s work is represented in numerous public collections, among them the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; the Denver Art Museum; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. An articulate spokesman about the nature of art and his own work, Sprick is the subject of a PBS documentary that is currently in progress.