Frye Art Museum

photo by Jill Berarducci

Seattle, Washington


Doug Safranek: City Illuminations

March 30 - May 20, 2001


Douglas Safranek (b. 1956) brings a fresh perspective to the old tradition of "painting the town" -- specifically New York. In his cityscapes, Safranek imposes a sense of order on the din and disarray of contemporary urban spaces by employing a bird's-eye point of view. Rendered in egg tempera with crisply observed details and delicate glowing colors, Safranek's high vantage points offer a panoramic view of bustling scenes below. Although seen from a distance, the minutiae represented in the pictures allow viewers to pinpoint precise locations -- most of which are found in the New York area. (left: March Morning, 1985, egg tempera on panel, 34 x 39 inches)

In Western art, few contemporary artists have chosen the medium of egg tempera because it involves a slow and deliberate application of many layers of paint. This labor-intensive process, however, supports Safranek's tendencies toward miniaturization and a strong linear quality that creates timeless, meditative paintings of a dynamically changing urban world. The Spokane-born artist now lives and works in New York City. (right: The White Building, 1989, egg tempera on panel, 48 x 32 1/2 inches)

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/23/11

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