Gallery Henoch is pleased to announce Steve Smulka’s solo show of recent paintings. A reception for the artist will be held Thursday, October 8th, 6-8 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
Steve Smulka paints glass—but it might be more accurate to say that Smulka paints light. Smulka uses mason jars, vintage seltzer bottles, wine decanters, vases and water pitchers to capture the way light bends, refracts, illuminates, and distorts its surroundings. In some of the paintings, backgrounds of looming clouds and ridged tree bark are as in-focus as the glass containers in the foreground, merging the two in a poetic, scrupulously accurate, yet slightly unreal way. In other paintings, bottles in columns two, three, or four deep create multiple layers of transparency that make for almost abstract studies of light and color. In Steve Smulka's closely observed, meditative paintings, these densely luminous layers give weight to the intangible nature of light, while rendering the solid objects it illuminates with an atmospheric evanescence.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Smulka attended The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where he studied under acclaimed painter Chuck Close. Smulka completed his MFA at the The University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Smulka has garnered international recognition for his distinct approach to Contemporary Realism. The artist accomplishes a virtual transformation of paint into prism and translucence into reflection and refraction. His work has earned him particular attention from critic J. Bowyer Bell, who writes, “Each work is lovingly crafted; the treatment of glass profound, mature, the skill, awesome; but it is the light that matters, the light that is somehow transformed by facility of hand and felicity of brush into a compelling icon. This mysterious alchemy of craft, vision and cunning turns paint into light and light into magic.” Steve Smulka has exhibited in North and South America, Europe, and Japan, is a two-time recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and has been collected by some of America’s largest corporations. He currently lives and works in New Mexico.
Gallery Henoch, 555 West 25th St. (between 10th and 11th Ave). Subway: C or E to 23rd St.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:30 am - 6:00 pm or by appointment. Free and open to the public.