Vincent Smarkusz

Undiscovered American Genius in Modern Art

Smarkusz - Middle Years galleries: 1951 to 1961

Crucible of Art - Sensual Forms & Mystical Themes coalesce into Fusionism

This group of Middle Years galleries contains some of the artist's most obscure works, created between 1951 and 1961.  It begins with Vincent settling in Boston as his first real home, after serving five years in WWII.  Then, through the entire 1950's, Smarkusz developed uniquely surreal and abstract varieties of figurative art we refer to as "Fusionism".

In his early thirties, Vincent sketched compositions while working as a night watchmen for Jordan Marsh & Co. in Boston.  During the day, he painted out of a 5th floor studio above his 4th floor apartment in Beacon Hill.  He also attending classes at Boston's Museum School, studying alongside other aspiring Figurative Expressionists under the direction of Karl Zerbe.

Smarkusz began experimenting with Surrealist Automatism - a meditative technique used to enhance sensory acuity and creativity.  He also began using his own dreams to capture imagery from a liminal state - which he then saved in the form of sketches for compositions.  He enjoyed seeing where his brush would take him as the liquid media he used suggested the forms and faces that emerged.  In this way he both meditatively and spontaneously created the strange abstract figurative imagery of Fusionism.  Years later he would refer to some of this subject matter as "dreams and nightmares".

Through the 1950s, his experiment in the fusing of sensual figurative forms with abstract mythical themes, progressed through three distinct phases.  The early phase imagery is more fluid in form and angelic in theme, while the late phase is more cubic in form and totemic in theme, with an India ink "Black Period" between.  The Middle Years Galleries conclude with late Fusionism, and a trip to Israel in 1960, where Smarkusz was a guest artist at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem.

 

ENTER the MIDDLE YEARS galleries ......

 

The Boston School of Figurative Expressionism:

The Night Watchman and his visions:

Early "Fusionism" - figures of expressionism turns surreal:

"Dreams and Nightmares"- liminal beings in "Dreamscapes":

Black Period - falling into the darkness of existential depression:

Nighmare Fusions - hidden in a box under his bed:

The Last of Fusionism - Pilgrimage to the Holy Land:

Revelation and Resurrection - "V" - The Phoenix rises again!

 
NEXT:  Later Years Galleries - Art Reinspires Life:
- "Eden Frolic" dreamscapes of Vincent Smarkusz's Magic-Realism period.
- "Aura View" portraits of his late Abstract / Figurative Expressionism period.