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 Marcus Uzilevsky  (1937 - )

About: Marcus Uzilevsky
 

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Lived/Active: Minnesota      Known for: linear landscapes

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
There is a River
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from American Design Ltd.:
MARCUS UZILEVSKY

When I first started applying straight lines of color to paper with a ruling pen and T-square in 1973, I wasn’t thinking of landscapes or of trying to create art in a new way; it was merely a convenient way of applying color to a surface and it felt good.

I was always gifted in drawing and through-out my school years illustrated with pen and ink my school’s yearbook covers.  I attended school of Art and Design, which I thought would prepare me for a career as an illustrator.  Upon graduating and entering the job market I quickly became very discouraged at the lack of opportunity there was in this are to express feelings and ideas.  One of the first jobs I had was illustrating automobile accessories for reproduction in newspapers.  What I learned from this was straight black lines when drawn close together or farther apart create the illusion of tone.  This mundane job lasted only several months but it was my introduction to the mechanical tools of a draftsman and “LINEARISM”.

In the years that followed I turned toward music as a creative outlet and pretty soon it took over as a career.  I began to sing and write songs professionally, performing primarily “folk music” in cafes on the East Coast.  In 1966, I performed with the New Christy Minstrels and then continued my endeavors as a soloist and recorded with Folkways Records.  Music has always been important to me and I believe there is a direct effect my music has on the visual art I create.

In the early 1970’s I embarked upon a career in fine art and initiated this style which I call Linear Landscapes.  It started when I was experimenting with the mechanical drawing tools I’d learned to use as a teenager, but this time instead of black and white I was using a multitude of colored inks.  There was something really exciting in seeing each thin lie of color appear on the surface of the paper juxtaposed against another band of color about an eighth of an inch away until the paper was full of color with little rays of white sparkling between them.

I gradually added a horizon line to see if this would give my drawings more balance and it did.  I then spontaneously added some land masses and the illusion of sky and water began to take shape.  I had at this point an impressionistic landscape formed only with thin lines of color.

I brought some of these drawings to an art gallery in San Francisco and someone commented that this style was “stretched-out-pointillism”.  It was then that I realized I had inadvertently initiated a totally new style of art which at the same time was so integrally connected to the French impressionists of the late 1800’s.

Pointillism, or as Paul Signac called it, divisionism, a more accurate term than neo-impressionism:  “To divide is to ensure all the benefits of luminosity, color, and harmony by the optical intermingling of exclusively pure colors.”

I also found that the subject matter that Seurat and Signac chose were closely aligned with my response to the subtleties of light and its effect on the calm countryside’s activated by sunshine and sea, by everything that sparkled, teamed and splashed in the bright light.

Although these artist’s painted from life, my art is visionary, inspired by a feeling for landscape and the challenge of manipulating horizontal line to define the images.  I enjoy incorporating this technical approach to spontaneous creativity and I strive for a quality in my drawing that touches me as does the lyrical harmonies of a beautiful song.

I want to communicate some of the beauty I see in God’s creation, our surrounding landscapes.

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