Alicia Czechowski

Alicia Czechowski

Artwork

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Alicia Czechowski
Alicia Czechowski, notwithstanding an MFA in Art from Wayne State University, is a self-taught artist, as most artists have been. Visual art, like music or dance, is the result of continual practice and a love for the chosen medium of expression. As a child with a natural aptitude for drawing and a lust for sheer visual experience, she began drawing with whatever materials came to hand. Her drawing skills developed during her teens, keeping a sketchbook handy at all times with the result that she did thousands of impromptu studies from life of happenchance subjects that struck a chord; people and animals at rest and in motion, random objects, buildings, vistas, and extempore imagined imagery. Growing up in Detroit, Alicia Czechowski had ready access to the superb collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. At the age of ten she did her first copy of a painting, a still-life by Claesz, which she rendered on much reduced scale in colored pencil, and then she did a somewhat more ambitious quarter-scale oil copy of “Trappers on the Missouri” by Bingham. Later, she did full scale oil copies of paintings, or details of paintings, by Frans Hals, Rubens, Chardin, Gainsborough, Van Dyke, Velasquez, Fantin-Latour, Fragonard and G. D. Tiepolo in the National Gallery and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through copying works by these artists, Czechowski's aim was to imbibe something of the virtuosic fluidity and transcendent expressiveness of their handling of the painting medium. She says, “Being at work with your brushes and colors in front of a living, breathing painting by one of the greats, like Hals or Velasquez, is the most potent learning experience. It's is the best way to learn to paint, almost like journeying back in time and actually watching them at work at their easels.” Alicia Czechowski's work is in private collections throughout the USA, in Mexico, Germany, the UK, and Japan. She has had solo shows in New York City, Connecticut, Maine and Wisconsin, as well as exhibiting widely throughout the US. She did over two hundred freelance illustrations for The New Yorker magazine during 1988 to 1995. Czechowski has taught painting, artistic anatomy, 3-D design, and drawing at Wayne State University, Portland School of Art, University of Utah, Heartwood College of Art, and was Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for five years. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Rahr-West Museum, Miller Art Museum, and Haggerty Museum of Art. Source: http://aliciaczechowski.com/about.html Alicia Czechowski was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1945 to Polish immigrant parents. She began drawing before she could walk, and at age nine, she began chalk and pencil copies from paintings in the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts. It wasn’t until 1972 that she received at Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Wayne State University. Later in 1972, Czechowski taught drawing at the University. Her interest in people as subject matter grew and for want of a better word, the psychological suggestiveness of visual interpretation became her main preoccupation. This led to an allegory involving both people and still life as subject matter with the essential symbolism of sensual pleasure and its reverse, the awareness of mortality. Between the years of 1979 and 1984, Czechowski was a professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. For her, academia fostered a preoccupation with more strictly seen aspects of painting and art in general during this time. The work from this period reflects that. Following this, up until 1995, she worked as a freelance illustrator for The New Yorker magazine, producing over 200 illustrations for the publication. Also while living in New York, she exhibited extensively at prestigious Madison Avenue galleries. The artist currently resides in Portland, Maine. To date, painting and the act of creating for her is inseparable from the act of living.
Artist