Fred Danziger is an artist originally from Western Pennsylvania and now based in Philadelphia, where he is also a member of the faculties of The Art Institute of Philadelphia and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He is also a visiting instructor at Rutgers University and Rosemont College.
Over his long career, Danziger has experimented with a variety of approaches and subjects, not just in phases, but in an apparently restless exploration throughout the years. Danziger has recently moved to a new web presence, and in the transition phase you can still access his archives of older work, which are fascinating for the variety of the work.
I had the chance yesterday to see a show at the Rodger LaPelle Galleries here in Philadelphia, in which a fine variety of Danziger’s work is showcased, from large scale landscapes and cityscapes to small plein air studies.
The matter of scale is one that is difficult to convey in images, and scale is one of the areas in which Danziger appears to enjoy experimenting. Some of his works are quite large, such as The Four Seasons (images above, third down), which is 44 x 96″, and 16th and Market (second down) which is 36 x 44″; others are small plein air pieces that are 5 x 7″ or 8 x 10″.
I find the drama of scale particularly effective in his intimate landscape subjects of leaves and grasses, like Autumn Drift (above, top) which is 36 x 50″ and Dewpoint (fifth down), which is 22 x 34″. These are just magical; the scale reinforces the contemplative subtlety of the work, reminiscent of Durer’s famous studies of turf and wildflowers.
Danziger’s accomplished portrait subjects often incorporate elements of cityscape, and his still life subjects feel continuous with his focus on the close up details of the landscape.
My schedule made me late in getting to the show at the Rodger LaPelle Galleries this month, so my notice to those of you in the Philadelphia area who might be able to get there is a bit short. The show ends this Sunday, September 30th, but it’s well worth trying to see it if you have the chance.
There is a short video on YouTube by John Thornton Fred Danziger: One Simple Idea, which features an interview with Danziger on the occasion of a previous show at the Rodger LaPelle galleries in 2009.
[Suggestion courtesy of Tom Jackson]