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The intimate domestic interiors which are the focus of the present exhibition are reflections of the seclusion and introspection imposed on his creativity by the lockdown from Covid. Sprick’s exquisite, hyper- realist oils bathed in radiance and atmosphere recall the Old Masters, particularly Dutch and Flemish paintings, in subject, palette as well as style. From the view of an illuminated empty hallway (A Certain Slant of Light) to the vista of the city from his home studio and bedroom (This World and the Next and Geographical Shift) – space and objects are suffused in a quiet glow. The extraordinary attention to detail, without ever foregoing his painterly manner, blurs the line between realism and abstraction. These paintings are contemporary and universal images.
Considered one of America’s leading contemporary realists, Daniel Sprick’s subjects range from extraordinarily realistic portraits to hauntingly contemplative still lifes to urban light filled landscapes.
Timothy Standring, Denver Art Museum curator emeritus, reflected on Sprick’s paintings as poetic performance art, of sorts. “Because Sprick works in the vernacular of realism, viewers look for verisimilitude, as if his paintings were a mirror of reality — a reality you and I might encounter,” said Standring. “And yet, the more we dwell on his paintings, the more we become aware that they are anything but a part of our world, and instead, are poetic renditions of his own making. As such, we encounter Sprick’s paintings as experiences whereby we engage deeply with the creation of his works. By responding to his stunning performances, we experience the poetry of his works.”
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 Pursuit of Truth and Beauty (2018).