The Museum School of Boston
Vincent settled in Boston and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts
After graduating from Hartford Art School in 1950 Vincent Smarkusz studied for one semester at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, under direction of the modernist painter Zoltan Sepeshy. He then moved to Boston in 1951 and enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts - also known as "The Museum School". He admired the Boston Expressionists Karl Zerbe, Jack Levine, and Hyman Bloom, and worked alongside Ture Bengtz, Arthur Polonsky and David Aronson in the 1950s. Artist Kahlil Gibran and Smarkusz both had studios on Joy Street, in Beacon Hill's historic art district.
In New York, Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko had recently switched to completely abstract forms of Expressionism, whereas the Boston painters stayed true to American Expressionism's roots in the figurative and the human. Vincent loved representing the human figure in abstract but sensual ways. He also appreciated the quieter, more traditional city of Boston. New York City may have been on the cutting edge of cultural evolution - the new Paris - but New England would forever be his home.
Smarkusz continued to explore various media and techniques, ultimately developing several unique forms of surreal and abstract painting. Through both a visual and conceptual process, he recombined the figurative and abstract - seeking to unify the sensually human with the mystically divine.
The Middle Years galleries which follow, chronicle Vincent's manic ascent toward such genius, and his plummeting descent into severe depression. The Later Years galleries then document his colorful reemergence as the proverbial Phoenix of art!