Emerging Artists | Svagrik, Klimpert, Frostad

The Boat by Gabor Svagrik,painting, southwest art.
The Boat by Gabor Svagrik

Gabor Svagrik
“I love the West and the diversity of the landscape there,” says 28-year-old painter Gabor Svagrik. He ventures from his home near Chicago, IL, often, and over the past year and a half the artist has put his brushes to canvas in Arizona, Montana, Idaho, and the Sierras. Rural, quiet settings appeal to him most: a pristine patch of forest, a saguaro standing against a sunset, a tiny mountain brook.

Svagrik developed an interest in art from his artistic grandmother during his childhood in Hungary. His affinity for the American West also blossomed during that time, when relatives living in America sent art books about such legends as Frederic Remington. Svagrik moved to the United States in 1983 and eventually studied at the American Academy in Chicago. He splits his time between working in the studio and painting in the open air of the West, where he plans to relocate some day. He is represented by Long Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Scotch Mist Gallery, Tucson, AZ; Venture Fine Art, Tucson, AZ; Mountain Trails Galleries, Santa Fe, NM, Jackson, WY, and Park City, UT; Jan Wilson Gallery, Ketchum, ID. —LB

New Mexico Red Door Traditions by Rudi Klimpert.,painting, southwest art.
New Mexico Red Door Traditions by Rudi Klimpert

Rudi Klimpert
Although 73 years old, Rudi Klimpert can easily be considered an emerging artist. He has been painting and drawing practically his entire life, but he found his niche, as he says, when he moved from the East to New Mexico 10 years ago. “I visited Santa Fe and couldn’t believe what I saw the colors and the architecture were amazing,” he says. Klimpert began dreaming about the area as soon as he left and quickly decided to return and make it his home.

His artistic style was com-pletely transformed by the move. While he had previously focused on portraits and semi-abstract figures, in New Mexico he turned to painting local architecture, artifacts, and the landscape. Of such paintings as New Mexico Red Door Traditions, Klimpert says, “Through symbolism, I’m trying to get across the feeling that if you walk through that door you’ll encounter all the beauty of New Mexico.” Klimpert is represented by Canyon Road Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM, and Occasions by Design, Scottsdale, AZ. —MB

Watched Pot by Stephanie Frostad,painting, southwest art.
Watched Pot by Stephanie Frostadr

Stephanie Frostad
Stephanie Frostad grew up in Walla Walla, WA, in a fertile valley on the edge of a golden wheat field. Today Frostad, 34, lives in Missoula, MT. Her narrative paintings, she says, tell a story about people who live in rural America, halfway between wild-erness and civilization.

The world Frostad creates in her work can be disquieting and lonely—her farm women watch a pot boil on the kitchen stove and stand in doorways waiting as male callers approach with suitcases. She views the figures in her works as travelers, people in transition and carrying “baggage” often psychological with them on their journey. “My objective is to present the essential elements of a story: a character or two, a sense of place and time, a moment of contact, conflict or cognition,”

Ravine by Stephanie Frostad,painting, southwest art.
Ravine by Stephanie Frostad

Frostadsays. She sees her artistic heritage rooted in the American Scene painters of the 1930s like Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. Frostad is represented by Davidson Galleries, Seattle, WA. —BG

Featured in “Artists to Watch” December 1999