Today we’d like to introduce you to Charles Gniech.
Charles (b 1962) is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Joliet Junior College and has been teaching at various colleges and universities for more than twenty-five years. From 2002-2013, while teaching at The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, Gniech served as Curator of the Institute’s galleries and acted as the Collections Curator for the Corporate Fine Art Collection.
In 2013, acting as Curator-at-Large, Gniech launched “The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions” a group exhibition that addresses human rights issues by utilizing nonthreatening art objects that allude to atrocities. The initiative was meant to encourage the audience to consider alternative perspectives and begin dialogue in an attempt to promote social change. Gniech has participated in multiple panel discussions relating to the exhibition and has lectured—at length—on his curatorial process.
In March 2016, Gniech participated as a member of a four-member panel at the United Nations – Commission on the Status of Women, 60th session in New York; presenting a session titled “Change Artists-Using the Arts to Leverage Change.” In February of 2017, Gniech acted as the Session Chair at the College Art Association, 105th Annual Conference in New York, where the three-member panel defined the ability of fine art to confront social issues on a global scale.
Charles Gniech holds a Master of Fine Art degree with an emphasis in painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in illustration, both from Northern Illinois University. While teaching, curating, and consulting, Gniech continues to paint and exhibits at the national level. The paintings of Charles Gniech have been included into numerous gallery and museum exhibitions. His work has been acquired for multiple public and private collections, with a large canvas purchased for the Permanent Collection of The Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Gniech is represented by the Hofheimer Gallery in Chicago.
Please tell us about your art.
In the late 1990s, I began traveling abroad. During my first trip [Paris and Prague], I met a wonderful woman who invited me and my traveling companion to come back to Europe that fall. The woman had an annual Thanksgiving dinner for the Americans living abroad. It was on that trip that I became obsessed with the stone circles of Great Britain.
Britain is covered with more than four-hundred-and-thirty prehistoric stone circles. Most people are familiar with Stonehenge, yet there are areas concentrated with these architectural structures as far to the north as the Scottish Islands, and as far to the south and west as Corn-wall. The unique characteristics of the stone circles have influenced my work for the past twenty-five years.
The imagery began as painterly abstract structuralism; evolved into tighter abstract erotic forms; then to large-format contemplative realist figures; before transitioning to meditative surfaces. These latest pieces explore the meditative qualities of the fluid surface patterns found on many of the prehistoric monuments. Working on canvas, the application of multiple layers of diluted pigment produces a translucent effect—the glistening surfaces evoking feelings of tranquility.
While taking some artistic liberties in the replication, manipulation and abstraction of the surface patterns, the imagery continues to convey the serene qualities regularly associated with nature. Like that of Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko, the imagery conveys the serene qualities of meditation and inner peace.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
Make work for yourself… Your audience will find you. The money will come.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work is represented in Chicago by the Hofheimer Gallery hofheimergallery.com. The Hofheimer Gallery is located at 4823 N. Damen, Chicago, IL. 60625—on the north side of Chicago in the Ravenswood area at Damen and Lawrence. The gallery is dedicated to introducing contemporary fine art in painting, drawing and sculpture from established and emerging artists. Through the year the gallery will feature provocative, engaging, solo and group exhibitions. An archive of my work can be seen at gniech.com
- Address: Chicago, IL
- Website: gniech.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Gniech images