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Harry Orlyk Exhibition

  • Salem Art Works 19 Cary Lane Salem, NY, 12865 United States (map)

Harry Orlyk, landscape and abstract oil paintings

A quarter century of painting has been an act of the imagination to determine who and what I am with respect to the earth and sky.

Each day I go out into the land surrounding my home intent on finding some aspect of it to paint. Over forty years I have sought to converge in painting the life cycle of a physical environment, with my own evolving emotional life. This has resulted in the life productions of many thousands small, realistic renderings of places at particular points of the yearly cycle. In the long run a visual record of change and the story of a place unfolds.

Over the years, as I kept on painting, working primarily in my van, I painted onsite with only raw paint without affiliating solvents. Paintings filled all the walls of my studio and sessions would result in huge amounts of waste paint.

Thirty years ago beginning with piles of paper kept on the studio floor, I began to partially clean brushes and scrape pallets onto the paper, developing a creative process rather than dumping the stuff into the environment or burn paint. This use of waste paint has recently become more and more of what I do as an Artist / Painter. In the past few years landscape painting waste has been turned into large format abstractions and representational forms. Also, in the recycling of cardboard boxes flattened and more recently keeping the box structure intact, I am developing sculptural forms.

Over the years I have allowed this sister process or bi-process its own life and greater freedom than I would permit in painting the landscape.

Happily the landscape painter in me has been informed by this freedom and has made him a better painter because of it.

Harry Orlyk

Harry Orlyk was born in Troy, New York in 1947. In 1971 after graduating college, he went on to graduate school at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He lived in Nebraska for nearly a decade, developing his painting practice with influences from local painters; Robin Smith taught him how to use paint without turpentine – to paint from the tube; Photographer Lawrence McFarland who taught him what spiritual space was, and how to emphasize it; Lastly, Lincoln painter Keith Jacobshagen impressed on him the importance of routine.
Embracing these principles as well as his own, 35 years later he embarks on two bodies of work simultaneously.

One body of work consists of observational paintings of local places, which capture the subtle way the color, light, and form shifts throughout the seasons, in a single sitting.
"The day is my model. But in my case, the model can’t come back tomorrow. I want to make models of every individual day and treat it in a very personal way as time progresses through my own life."
The second body of work, often times happening back in his studio, consists of paintings and sculptures created with left over paint soon after the observational painting session.

“Happily the landscape painter in me has been informed by this freedom and has made me a better painter because of it.”

This exhibition will show both bodies of work – side by side – over 50 landscape paintings and over a dozen paintings and sculptures created with the left over paint. Join us to see new sculptural forms, and paintings created this winter. The exhibition will be on view May 23 through Junr 5, 2016.