December 15, 2014
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s newest special feature, Color Color, showcases vibrant inkjet prints from Ohio-based artist Julian Stanczak with accompanying poetry by Harry Rand. The Color portfolio was acquired by the museum in 1994, but this is the first time this special feature has been on display in Cincinnati.
Although small in size, the art creates a big impact. Twenty of Stanczak’s framed “color experiences” are shown with Rand’s poetry in the Albert E. Heekin and Bertha E. Heekin Gallery on the museum’s second floor.
Stanczak, a previous Art Academy of Cincinnati teacher, is now a resident of Cleveland suburb Seven Hills. He embraces imaging technology to form a new definition of color in his art. His Color portfolio, completed in 1993, is an example of the early use of digital visual art and inkjet printing. Stanczak modified the printer to fit the large format and paper thickness. He used wax to suspend the colors.
Cincinnati Art Museum Curator of Prints Kristin Spangenberg organized the display. “These amazingly vibrant works let us see color in a new way. Even though the art is more than 20 years old, the special feature is a fresh combination of powerful images and words that will resonate with the museum guests who examine them,” she said.
Using brilliant color and dramatic moods, Stanczak’s inkjet prints have intricate value gradients and color juxtapositions that reflect his aesthetic vision. The accompanying poetic suite by Harry Rand creates different psychological states through a variety of voices, tenses and personae. Together, Stanczak’s perceptual art coupled with Rand’s symbolic poetry, form a totality which opens hearts and eyes.
“My primary interest is color—the energy of the different wavelengths of light in their juxtapositions. The primary drive of colors is to give birth to light, but light always changes; it is evasive. I use the energy of this flux because it offers me great plasticity of action,” said Stanczak. “To capture the metamorphoses—the continuous changing form and circumstance—is the eternal challenge and, when achieved it offers a sense of totality, order and repose. Color is abstract, universal—yet personal and private in experience.”
Stanczak immigrated to the United States in 1950 and studied with Josef Albers at Yale University, School of Art and Architecture where he received his Masters in 1956. From 1957 to 1964 he taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He moved to Cleveland in 1964 to teach at the Cleveland Institute of Art, retiring in 1995.
Rand was born and raised in New York City. His poetry has been published since he was seventeen. He has been an important commentator on twentieth century art and artists through his books and catalogues.