E.J. Paprocki's latest one-man exhibition opened last night at DeBruyne Fine Art in Naples. The works on display show a remarkable degree of subtlety, refinement and nuance.
Paprocki achieved success at an early age, catching the attention of internationally-renowned Galleries Maurice Sternberg and the prestigious Wally Findlay Galeries even before he formally launched his painting career. And he has been painting at such an incredibly high level ever since that gallerist Suzanne DeBruyne predicts Paprocki will be one day be regarded as one of the great American impressionist painters of the modern era. But Paprocki is still not content. He pushes for improvement in each new work.
"What I'm striving for now is to make the color and light treatment more refined and the ideas expressed by each painting more pointed," Paprocki shares. And that involves expressing more with fewer objects and brushstrokes within the frame of each composition.
It is a long-standing tenet of impressionism that "when we look at nature in the open, we do not actually see individual objects each with its own color, but rather a bright medley of tints which blend in our eye or really our mind," notes art historian E.H. Gombrich. Where a realist would paint each object in a landscape in minute detail in an effort to achieve the hyper-accuracy of a photograph, impressionists use daubs of pigment expressing the effects of light on color that merely suggest shape and form, letting the brain supply what the brush withholds. And what Paprocki now wants for his paintings is to provide less shape and form, forcing his viewers to bring more and more to the interpretative process.
Last night at DeBruyne, that dynamic was clearly in evidence. Viewers don't merely glance at a Paprocki landscape, cityscape or figurative work. Instead, they pause and peer into the picture within the gold gilded frame. Without knowing why, their mind is engaged as their brains work to solve the riddles their optic nerves can't sort out. Thus, the more Paprocki edits out, the less gives the eye, the more connected to his paintings his viewers become, and it all operates on an unconscious plane.
Paprocki collectors Jim and Ardie McEathron were certainly feeling the vibe. "We told ourselves that we were done, but I have to admit that there are seven or eight paintings here that I really, really like," Jim confessed, tensing momentarily when he thought another collector had purchased the painting Jim liked most.
It's that way with E.J.'s artworks. They work on you. They take possession of a viewer long before the viewer takes possession of the work.
If you'd like to let Paprocki's current show speak to you, then make plans to visit DeBruyne Fine Art in the next two weeks. The show will only remain intact until January 23, when it has to come down to make way for Jenness Cortez's new solo show. DeBruyne Fine Art is located on Broad Street in Naples' Third Street South Gallery District. For more information, please visit www.debruynefineart.com or telephone 239-262-4551.