Daniel Sprick, Dusk and the Vapors [1999], oil, 30 x 36.,painting, southwest art.
Daniel Sprick, Dusk and the Vapors [1999], oil, 30 x 36.

By Margaret L. Brown

In analyzing the construction of a still life, we ponder the artist’s choices: the selection of a piece of fruit or a flower as subject matter, the juxtaposition of textures and colors, the pairing of a milk carton with a human bone. William Acheff arranges a Native American pot, a couple of onions, and three chiles in Zia Pot, which appears on the cover of this issue. In his profile of Acheff, Norman Kolpas describes the relationships of these objects—“the similarly rounded forms of the onions and the vessel and the contrasting textures of dry, worn pottery, shiny onion skins, and lustrous peppers.” More than 20 new works by Acheff, including Zia Pot, are on view this month at the Gilcrease Rendezvous show at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK, along with sculptures by Oreland Joe, who is also featured in this issue.

Still-life painter Daniel Sprick is drawn to nontraditional subject matter. “I like to find beauty in less obvious places. I’m interested in painting things like the throwaway packages of our civilization,” says Sprick of such images as Dusk and the Vapors. Sprick’s unique brand of ethereal realism can be seen in a solo exhibit that opens May 24 at the Denver Art Museum.

The choices involved in composing a still life bring to mind, for me, the choices involved in creating this magazine each month—selecting artists and artworks, arranging articles and images, producing an overall package that is aesthetically pleasing and communicates a coherent message. As I begin my third year as editor of Southwest Art and as we move into planning issues for the year 2000, I’m reflecting on the editorial choices of the last two years and eagerly anticipating future ones. To help with these plans, I’d like to ask each of you—collectors, enthusiasts, artists, and dealers—to let me know your thoughts about our editorial choices and direction. Please call me at 713.296.7907; write to 5444 Westheimer, Suite 1440, Houston, TX, 77056; or e-mail the address below. As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Featured in May 1999