Larry Spaid

On view from December 7, 2012 to January 26, 2013.

This exhibition is about a journey...and the notebooks that are a traveler’s record of what he saw. In Larry Spaid’s case there have been three distinct journeys so far. The first, from a small town in Indiana to the Yale Summer School of Art and Music, where critiques by painter/faculty members Al Held and Jack Tworkov had important influences on his work. He went on to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA where he completed an MFA degree in painting as a graduate fellow. The second, as a soldier in the Vietnam/America War (1970-71), where drawing became a means of maintaining psychological balance by responding to the unadorned beauty of ethnic objects and structures.


In Larry Spaid's case there have been three distinct journeys so far. The first, from a small town in Indiana to the Yale Summer School of Art and
Music, where critiques by painter/faculty members Al Held and Jack Tworkov had important influences on his work. He went on to the University of
Massachusetts, Amherst, MA where he completed an MFA degree in painting as a graduate fellow.

The second, as a soldier in the Vietnam/America War (1970-71), where drawing became a means of maintaining psychological balance by responding to the unadorned beauty of ethnic objects and structures.

The third ­- the one he is still on - ­ is a dedicated and continuous examination of the places he travels to. The records of these experiences
are interpreted in drawing journal form and subsequently re-processed into paintings.

In 1979 Spaid received a tenured professorship at Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA and accepted a position to teach at Temple Abroad, Rome, Italy from 1980-84. This period allowed him to work and travel in Europe, North Africa and Turkey. Upon his return to the United States he acquired a studio in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia where he continues to work.

From 1991-94 he taught for Temple University Japan in Tokyo and was able to experience and/or reconnect with Asia, Southeast Asia and Indonesia. During this period Spaid completed over 400 works on paper as a result of these cultural emersions.

It's worth noting that Spaid's work is included in the Kramarsky Collection, one of the leading resources of American drawings and works on paper. The Kramarsky Collection consists of over 3,000 works, more than half of which have subsequently been donated to museums and public institutions.

Spaid has a naturalist's eye for the relationship of colors and the precision, balance and harmony of line and form. His surfaces and media
choices enhance his work by creating heft and physical presence, maintaining a flexibility of execution while engaged with heavy rag papers and raw cotton canvas. His work is to be viewed as an object as well as a field of illusion. For over a decade, his solo exhibitions have been developed
sequentially from his travels ­ a narrative account of his observations.

This exhibition of work, entitled "Mekong Series", consists of 13 paintings on canvas and 20 works on paper, and is his fifth solo exhibition during the 12 years we have represented his work. It is a result of Spaid's final Faculty Research and Study Leave from Temple University in 2008. His
purpose was to absorb the ethnic design and ambiance of Laos by tracing areas along the Mekong River and its tributaries. These works respond to the river and its banks during the dry season as well as to the efforts and products of its inhabitants.

Spaid is involved with more than simply the "narrative picture". When one examines his texturally rich imagery you realize that he is offering a sense of touch from the environments he has experienced Štranslations that are works of harmonious visual poetry.

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Spaid.Install1

Installation view of (left to right) Mekong Series 14, 30" x 30", Acrylic on canvas, Mekong Series 20, 91" x 70", Acrylic on canvas, Mekong Series 16, 40" x 30", Acrylic on canvas, Mekong Series 13, 40" x 30", Acrylic on canvas, Mekong Series 15, 40" x 30", Acrylic on canvas

Click on the image above for a high-resolution version of this picture.

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