Elsa Sroka: “Ablaze”

Abend Gallery

January 12 - 26, 2019

  • Opening Reception: Saturday, January 12, 6-9 pm
Elsa Sroka - Twilight

Abend Gallery kicks off the New Year with a brilliant and vibrant solo exhibition, “Ablaze”, by a Colorado new-contemporary artist, Elsa Sroka. In this solo comprised of eighteen canvases, Sroka presents a variety of subjects—animals, botanicals and landscapes, all of which exude a forward-thinking, contemporary attitude. This body of work continues to play with vibrancy of color, as well as finding that elusive and delicate balance of additive and subtractive painting. Elsa resumes exploring the role facial expressions of her subjects and the emotional connection to them play in the process of creating the art so undoubtedly Sroka. What emerges from these explorations is a new level of complexity of elements: color, texture, composition, and detail, shifting focus from the sole subject, to the entirety of the painting, and thus, enveloping the viewer with a full sensory experience.

Adding onto her famed cow series with a new perspective, Elsa investigates how the animals’ facial expressions infuse the subjects with personality. To her, the emotional connection to that which she paints is vital. Recently, Sroka also dared venture into an even more challenging territory—painting human portraits. The similarity between the facial expressions of human subjects and animals she discovered was unexpected. Inspired and fascinated by this link, Sroka found an exciting challenge in learning to master the human side of expression.

The landscapes this soloist presents are mostly color-driven. She finds inspiration in many sources, including the various scenes discovered in her travels, elements found in architecture, the inspiration from other artists, and her own imagination. After laying down her foundational colors, she scrapes away and moves the paint to reveal what is underneath, then applies more layers of paint. It is not unusual for her to destroy a large portion of the piece in progress, ultimately resurrecting it through layer after layer, creating meaning and form in the process.

Elsa comes from a family of six siblings, all of whom share the love of art and design. Mostly self-taught, her work is based on instinct rather than theory. Her inspiration can be selective as when drawn from early childhood memories, particularly hours spent drawing at the kitchen table with her brothers and sisters overseen by their father. Her inspiration can also randomly unfold as she approaches a blank canvas with no preconceived ideas, not knowing where it will end up. Often the subjects of her paintings are secondary to what may emerge from both unintentional marks and intentional smears that ignite a series of chain reactions suggesting a direction and ultimately meaning. In the end, if Elsa Sroka is able to emotionally engage the viewer, she feels her work is complete.

Abend Gallery
1412 Wazee St
Denver, CO 80202
Tue-Sat: 12:00 - 6:00 pm