James Aponovich

Clark Gallery
Mar 18, 2014 9:38PM

A strong undercurrent of surrealism pervades Aponovich's work. He endeavors to depict the ultimate object and his opulent fruits, fabrics, flowers, and vessels function as archetypes. His paintings focus on the ideal, as opposed to the real, and his work is neither iconographic nor narrative. As the artist himself says: "In my work, if I am painting a peach, it’s not just the soft, furry flesh outside, but the hard pit inside. That’s the kind of meditation on objects that I seek in my approach."

Noted for its geometry, proportion, composition, and light-filled atmosphere—the artist forgoes the chiaroscuro employed in more traditional still lifes—Aponovich's work not only reflects the influence of Cézanne and Picasso but also that of the early Italian Renaissance painter, Piero della Francesca, and the Dutch and Flemish still life painters of the 17th century. An accomplished figure painter and portraitist, Aponovich turned to still life painting in the early 1980s after intensive study of Chinese landscape painting. According to Aponovich, it was the "attitude toward interpretation and assimilation [that exists in Chinese painting] so that the object and the artist become one," that inspired the move to still life.

Aponovich's work is greatly informed by nature. Married to a professional horticulturist, and an accomplished gardener himself, Aponovich paints in conjunction with the bloom seasons, sketching first from the live bulbs, and resolving the remainder of the painting during the winter.

James Aponovich has exhibited nationally since the late 1970s. In 2005, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH, mounted a major retrospective of his work. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Arkansas Art Institute, Little Rock; The Currier Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Portland Art Museum, ME, among others. The artist lives in New Hampshire.

Clark Gallery