Mythical themes arise through the sensual forms of Vincent's emerging Fusionism
By 1952, Vincent Smarkusz was fully settled into his new life as a semi-professional artist in Boston. While enrolled part time at the Museum School of Fine Arts, he started creating a unique style of figurative art we call "Fusionism". Working as a night watchman, he spent his days producing lithographic prints and paintings - to market and to develop his newly emergent visual expressions.
Experimenting with several series of India ink brush studies, Smarkusz began exploring fundamental human themes by expressing them through stylized human forms. As his figures grew more abstract, the themes they embodied also became increasingly mythical and symbolic in nature. He would eventually carry this process to the extreme limits of visual and conceptual abstraction, as he fused sensual bodies with abstract symbolism. The "liminal beings" he creates always retain their humanness, as they morph their way through metaphysical forms within supernatural themes.
Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb had ruthlessly extended their "mythomorphic abstractionism" beyond the recognizably human - fully transitioning from figurative to abstract in both form and theme. Smarkusz by comparison, retains the human person, precariously balanced in the narrowest of perceptual zones, where abstraction and figuration unify and transcend dichotomy. This was the most fertile area of imagination for Vincent - a realm where the sensuousness of human form unites with abstract mythical themes - giving birth to the hybrid mythico-sensual and liminal beings of Fusionism.
The titles of the images in this gallery were applied by the curators of this collection. The original India ink on textured illustration board fineline brush paintings were unnamed, when recovered from the artist's studio by a close family member, shortly after his death in 1974.