David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
by Amanda Malloy
One of the pioneers of the Optical Art movement, Julian Stanczak’s work is geometrically precise, vibrant, and full of kinetic energy. The works in “Dynamic Fields” have been selected from multiple collections, covering several decades. Several pieces here have never been previously exhibited. While the selections offer a wonderful survey of Stanczak’s styles, the collection still feels cohesive. Stanczyk’s paintings are brilliantly rich with color and subtle implications of light. Using grids and sharp vertical and diagonal lines, Stanczak uses almost imperceptible gradients of color to create undulating movement in his work.
The artist’s “grass” paintings are among the most lively of the collection. With an almost electric energy, the paintings incorporate primarily vertical lines of assorted colors to create patterns and movement that are only visible from a slight distance. The “bound box” paintings reveal a similar liveliness, incorporating grids which express movement through gradients of color. The “diagonal construct” paintings are more geometric and draw attention primarily to form and shape rather than movement, yet still incorporate a sense of dynamism. While the sharp lines and composition are impeccably executed in all of the paintings in this collection, it is clear that Stanczak speaks through color. Closely viewing these canvases reveals a subtle texture and slight striations in the lines which refreshingly convey the human hand that created them. While the paintings appear almost mathematical in their construction, they imply representations of natural elements. Calculated but not lacking in emotion, “Dynamic Fields” is a wonderful exploration of color, line and light.