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 David Niec: American

David Niec
Night Sky (2008-09)
Oil on panel :: 24 x 24

about the artist

David Niec works with an uncredited collaborator in painting his northwoods nocturnes. It is the night itself.

As was true of the French plein air painters, he paints directly from nature. Instead of setting up his easel in sun-splashed fields of the kind that attracted Pissarro, Monet and Renoir, though, Niec (pronounced "nick") paints mostly during the winter months and in the dead of night. He mixes his oils with illumination from flashlights. Because winter nights in Wisconsin can be brutally cold, his breath often turns to frost on his panel supports, producing miasmas that have to be thawed before he can proceed. Almost always snow covers the ground.

While Niec's working process might strike many landscape painters as torturous, he believes he gains an important payoff through the process. The night joins with him in creating his work. The inky, blue-black air blots out all but the broadest and most critical pictorial components of the settings, aiding him in his exercises in abstraction.

Niec carried out most of his formal studies in painting at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee where he received BA in art. He has exhibited widely and his paintings are to be found in numerous collections, including, in significant numbers, that of David Nash, the internationally prominent British environmental artist.

price range:

$850 - $5,000