May I Introduce Daniel Sprick?

1 May 2011

Untitled by Daniel Sprick, 2006, 24 x 24, oil painting.
Untitled by Daniel Sprick, 2006, 24 x 24, oil painting.
Daniel Sprick: Weekend With the Masters Instructor

Daniel Sprick was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He studied at the Froman School of Art and The National Academy of Design and received his B.F.A. from University of Northern Colorado in 1978.

His love of drawing and the development of his oil painting techniques began at the age of 4, with influences stemming as far back as Robert Campin and Roger van de Weyden. Sprick has had numerous solo exhibitions, participated in many group exhibitions, and has his work in private and public collections throughout the United States and abroad.

"This artist has produced paintings about the process of contemplation, the odd associations one makes, and the way one's inner world may spontaneously ignite as a result of one's prolonged interaction with a fixed subject," wrote Dorothy Spears in a 2001 issue of American Artist. "In order to grant himself this inner freedom, all the external aspects of his environment need to be tightly controlled. Only then will structure yield to crystalline vision."

Although Sprick shies from discussing a codified iconography for his paintings, he is indebted to earlier masters. The painters of the Northern Renaissance, Robert Campin (the Master of Flémalle), Roger van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes, the van Eyck brothers- Jan and/or Hubert- "leave me feeling both helpless and empowered," Sprick says. So does Giovanni Bellini's almost hallucinatory style. The archaic and modern qualities that seem to converge so effortlessly in the works of these early painters continue to fascinate Sprick.

He admires the ability for these artists to create a believable look at invisible realms and supernatural happenings. For example, the miracle depicted in Jan van Eyck's Virgin and Child with the Chancellor Rolin (1433-34) occurs in a luxurious room but is ignored by two passer-bys seen through the balcony window. Such tangible yet elusive apparitions live on in secular form in Sprick's vision of a hovering egg in Flora Spirited, or in the artists' own shadowy personal appearance reflected in a mirror in All We See or Seem.

Sprick has been the subject of feature articles in American Artist and Southwest Art magazines and is represented by Arcadia Fine Arts, in New York City; and Gallery 1261, in Denver, Colorado. For more information on Sprick, visit his website.

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