Contemporary Realist painter Daniel Sprick produces meticulously executed portraits and figurative compositions whose muted palettes and sense of stillness encourage slow contemplation. His paintings feature a range of subjects, from still lifes of flowers and unlikely assortments of objects, to interiors and urban and pastoral scenes. A diverse range of men, women, and youth populate his portraits and figurative works; taken together, they reflect a rich and encompassing view of humanity. “I’m interested in all walks of life, everyone,” the artist once explained about his choice of subjects. “Some that may be considered conventionally beautiful and others that may not, and everyone in between.” In his still lifes, which recall those of the Dutch and Flemish traditions, Sprick brings together the sumptuous — including silver tableware and starched white tablecloths — and the mundane, such as tin cans and old bottles, in elegant, harmoniously-balanced arrangements ...
... “The paintings of Daniel Sprick are nurturing, they are fulfilling. They provide us with something that we are not getting enough of. He provides us with a longing gaze at ourselves.
Daniel Sprick is a man who believes that more is to be gained from being honest than from being ironic. His paintings clearly reflect his natural gift for seeing, and his extraordinary mastery of the material, to convey to us a deep connection – a human connection. It is as if he doesn't just paint a portrait; he paints us all, the oneness of humanity into each face. Everything is there in the shadows. As Caravaggio's figures come out of the shadow, Sprick's faces possess the shadow. The subtleties to be found there are sensational.
A versatile painter, Daniel’s subjects range from the intimacy of portraiture, the nude and still life to the expanse of landscape painting. Regardless of the subject, Daniel’s work is imbued with an atmosphere of transcendent observation through his masterful command of paint.”
Brandon Kralik, The Huffington Post
"For all his devotion to the realist tradition in painting, Daniel Sprick's views are entirely contemporary, and he emphasizes the abstract underpinnings of his and others' work. ‘All art is abstract, of course. The art is to extract the parts of reality we can use and leave the rest.’ While the content of his paintings reaches for transcendence, Sprick is pragmatic when he describes his works' formal properties, and the preparation he makes for each one. He is not enamored of laborious painting techniques. The smoothly pained, jewel-like surfaces of Daniel Sprick's images belie the simple, shortcut methods he sues. He paints on masonite primed with gesso. For smaller works, Sprick makes a charcoal sketch directly on the support before beginning to work; larger paintings demand separate studies and preliminary drawings.
‘Painters who go in for verisimilitude need to start with things that cooperate,’ he says with a smile, explaining why he rarely paints anything in motion. And he makes light of his choice of still-life material: ‘I'm fundamentally lazy. I don't have to look very far for things to paint. I like the shapes of milk cartons because they look like architecture, diminutive houses. And I enjoy inventing the calligraphy. In that way, I guess I've been influenced by Pop Art — though I really don't have much sympathy for it!’
This is another example of the equilibrium of an artist who rarely paints people, yet who admired and learned from both the flamboyant portraiture of Nicolai Fechin and the restrained and detailed works of Han Holbein. ‘Much of my drawing experience comes from portraits,’ Daniel Sprick says, ‘and painting is really nothing but drawing.’ A note of pride rises in his voice then fades. ‘I should do more drawing.’ He remarks softly."
Jane Fudge, Curator, Denver Art Museum
Daniel Sprick was born in 1953 in Little Rock, Arkansas, and lives and works today in Colorado.
SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS
Allied Artists of America Gold Medal recipient
Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Holmes, Robert and Owens, Denver, CO
Montgomery, Little, Young, Campbell, and McGrew, PC., Englewood, CO
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
North American Equities, Denver, CO
State of Colorado, State Capitol Building, Denver, CO
The Denver Post, Denver, CO
The Evansville Museum of Art and Science, Evansville, IN
The Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
U.S. West Communications, Denver, CO
United States Court of Appeals, Byron White Courthouse, Denver, CO
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
AA, Mesa College, Grand Junction, CO, 1973
Ramon Froman School of Art, National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 1976
BA, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, 1978