Magnificence is artist’s North Star: Denver’s Daniel Sprick to exhibit in New York | Arts & Leisure

Daniel Sprick, one in all Colorado’s most completed artists, just lately returned from New York Metropolis, the place he was getting ready for a brand new exhibition — his first since 2016. Opening on the Gerald Peters Gallery on February 11, Sprick’s present “Interiors” will exhibit his ethereal, realist work of his Sixteenth-floor residence close to Metropolis Park, most created throughout Covid-19 lockdown.

Sprick is arguably the very best representational painter in Colorado, or perhaps the Rocky Mountain area. In Sprick’s arms, interiors are concurrently every-day and otherworldly. The diploma of verisimilitude in his work approaches fine-art images of areas saturated in luscious pure mild. Sprick’s work are, in a phrase, stunning.

“Nice magnificence may be discovered, may be expressed,” Sprick stated. “I feel there may be much more consensus about magnificence than lots of people wish to assume. That’s against saying that magnificence is within the eye of the beholder.”

Magnificence is Sprick’s North Star. And he finds magnificence in realism.

“Magnificence is one thing that’s by no means mentioned in up to date artwork, not that I do know of. Whether it is stunning, it’s as a result of it enhances the wealth and status of the proprietor, however not on the deserves of the artwork,” he stated.

“In our time, in structure of the early twentieth century main thus far, magnificence was thought-about a weak point. Magnificence was disdained in structure, and I feel that the opposite arts adopted,” Sprick stated. “However nothing may very well be extra necessary and good than magnificence. Nature, one other human: Generally it stops your coronary heart to see wonderful magnificence. Very seldom, art work does that.”

The wonder and verisimilitude of a Sprick portrait can take away one’s breath. Identical with a Sprick still-life or panorama.

“A portray is mild and darkish patches on canvas, however these combos of sunshine and darkish can unlock the pleasure facilities of the human thoughts, which is what we name magnificence and may turn out to be transcendent,” stated Sprick.

John Madden — one in all metro Denver’s growth titans, a long-standing patron of the humanities and co-founder of Museum of Out of doors Artwork (MOA) — started amassing fantastic artwork within the Nineteen Sixties. Madden, now 92, minimize his aesthetic enamel on the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, Neb.

“I labored there 20 years, the whole lot from carpenter to tour information,” Madden stated. “That’s the place I received to know Rembrandt and Titian.”

The Madden Assortment — of which roughly 100 items have been donated to the College of Denver — contains works by Robert Rauschenberg, Grandma Moses, Thomas Moran, Thomas Hart Benton, Wilson Hurly, Chen Chi and lots of different notable artists. Madden additionally collected eight Daniel Sprick work. MOA owns one other three Spricks, together with one of many painter’s monumental still-life works. MOA additionally produced a documentary movie, “Daniel Sprick: Pursuit of Reality and Magnificence,” which may be seen at

Madden described one in all his Sprick work: “It’s a river at night time. Phenomenal! It’s a romantic image, very, very sensible with an unbelievable dealing with of sunshine,” Madden stated. “I feel Daniel Sprick is a keeper and goes to be anyone who might be remembered. His artwork displays that.”

Timothy Standring, Denver Artwork Museum curator emeritus, mirrored on Sprick’s work as poetic efficiency artwork, of kinds.

“As a result of Sprick works within the vernacular of realism, viewers search for verisimilitude, as if his work have been a mirror of actuality — a actuality you and I’d encounter,” stated Standring. “And but, the extra we dwell on his work, the extra we turn out to be conscious that they’re something however part of our world, and as a substitute, are poetic renditions of his personal making. As such, we encounter Sprick’s work as experiences whereby we interact deeply with the creation of his works. By responding to his beautiful performances, we expertise the poetry of his works.”

Sprick takes his work severely. He’s nothing if not earnest, and portray is his vocation, his non secular quest, his raison d’être.

Requested whether or not he ever considers portray in a mode much less demanding than his intensely representational realism, Sprick stated, merely, “No.”

However then, after a protracted silence, he added, “Summary portray has no ability concerned. When folks say, ‘My child may try this,’ they may. It’s true. It’s no problem to fabricate a product or splatter paint. Don’t consider it when connoisseurs throw a cloak of obscurity and level to standards the place none exist. It’s a recreation with no guidelines. No substance. Nothing there. The emperor’s garments,” he stated.

“I’ve no capability for self-delusion. I’ve by no means had the slightest design to fake, it doesn’t matter what accolades or success it may very well be rewarded with. I feel I’d moderately drink poison,” Sprick stated. “That’s why I’ve no artist assertion, no concept. Right here’s my artist assertion: What you see is what you get.”

Authenticity by means of verisimilitude in Sprick’s realist work impresses all people in his orbit. Longmont-based Scott Fraser, one other famend painter working in realism and surrealism, is Sprick’s peer.

“I’ve recognized Dan for 40 years. We’ve one another’s work. He’s on my checklist of favourite artists. We’re shut associates,” Fraser stated. “It’s exceptional what he’s accomplished technically. There’s a constant high quality to his work that he has maintained. He has experimented with subject material, and I respect that. He’s very broad. I’m only a still-life painter, however Dan paints still-lifes and landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes. He paints the determine,” Fraser stated. “He has a sure ability set that will get higher, and he applies it to all issues.”

Sprick, at present engaged on an almost-life-sized nude, credit not solely his expertise, but in addition his devotion.

“I’m nonetheless making an attempt to grasp it, as a result of it could possibly’t be mastered. My technical ability will get higher and higher, partly as a result of I don’t do anything. I eat, sleep and trip bicycles — I trip a motorbike to work most days — however I do virtually nothing else however art work. That’s fully my option to reside and breathe and progress into better magnificence,” stated Sprick.

His way of life evidently works for him. At 68, Sprick seems virtually boyish: slight, an unwrinkled face, a full head of brown hair. But he is aware of he’s no Peter Pan of portray.

“I’ll hold going so long as I’m ready. I’m getting older, and I’ll run out of time. The clock is ticking for me like for everyone else, so I’m working full tilt whereas I nonetheless can as a result of I do know the flexibility will go away.”

In the meantime, he’s fulfilled and following his inside compass: “There may be nonetheless undiscovered territory,” Sprick stated. “I’m crusing for a continent I’m not even certain exists.”

Colleen Smith is a longtime arts author based mostly in Denver.