Show Preview | Albert Scharf

Santa Fe, NM
Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art, June 23-July 7

Albert Scharf, Rising Spirits at Black Mesa 924, oil, 24 x 30.

Albert Scharf, Rising Spirits at Black Mesa 924, oil, 24 x 30.

This story was featured in the July 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  July 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Albert Scharf loves open skies, long vistas, and distant mountains—the iconic images of the Southwest. In response, his landscape paintings mainly feature the expansive western sky, with soft, small strips of land peeking from the bottom of his canvases. Scharf, who was born and raised in New York City, says he was exposed to fine art in the best museums there. After he moved to New Mexico to study art in college, the expansive desert seeped into his subconscious, and those same western landscapes still influence his art today. The artist is bringing a new series of 12 paintings to Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art to display from June 23 to July 7. The opening reception is held on Friday, June 23, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Scharf’s paintings have grown into an abstract-based declaration on color. “One of my prime problem sets is the emotional content of color,” Scharf says. He likes providing the viewer with emotions through the color palette to foster a deeper connection to the painting. Scharf generally starts by choosing a main color to grab the viewer’s attention, and then he adds in the lightness and darkness of other colors to support that initial emotional response. But Scharf says he doesn’t try to push the painting to explicitly express one thing or another. “If I tell the painting to do something it doesn’t want to, it just won’t do it,” he says. “After several hours, it seems to decide exactly what color ranges it wants to go in and how it wants to present itself.” Scharf tries to stay out of the way of the painting, allowing its energy to do the work instead of forcing his consciousness onto the canvas.

He also likes feeling unrestricted by focusing on clouds and building on their constantly morphing shapes. “The more I try to draw something, the less life it has in the painting,” Scharf says of his initial instinct in beginning a composition. “My choice of clouds is based on my love of the abstract, and I enjoy playing with the color, lightness, and darkness to bring out or subdue them.”

In his new series, he began by intensely studying the edges of clouds, adding a dynamic and exciting aspect to the shapes that he didn’t previously take time to investigate. Scharf says this new way of seeing and painting the cloud has opened up his style, allowing for well-defined edges and more color variation in the center of the cloud. “The colors, the air, and the mountains feed my soul, and that pushes me to create,” he says of his inspiring surroundings and home in Santa Fe. “My paintings express my love of the land and the spirits that stimulate my emotions.” —Katie Askew

contact information
505.986.1156
www.giacobbefritz.com

This story was featured in the July 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  July 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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