University Museums

Title: Larnacy
Name: Painting
Date: 1988
Medium: Acrylic on paper
Dimensions: 86 x 42 in. (218.4 x 106.7 cm)
Signed: Signed and dated 1988 on the front by Friedel Dzubas
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Gift of the Class of 1976 for the President's Office. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Morrill Hall
Object Number: U89.52
More Information
Dzubas' acrylic painting, Larnacy 1988, is representative of the style Dzubas has been painting for several years. The large rectangular canvas is densely packed with juxtaposed color areas of variable size, tone, and intensity. The painting lacks any identifiable subject matter, for the paint itself is the subject. Artist Ben Shahn once said, "Every work of art means more to one the more one knows about its subject." With this philosophy in mind, to derive a meaningful interpretation of this work, the color must be examined more closely.

As your eyes move about the composition, you see dark and light variations of browns and greens, pinks and yellows, each distinct from one another, yet some dissipating into each other. The areas of color which feather off into transparent, almost weightless clouds of glaze, contrast with other areas of rich, thickly applied pigment. There are very few hard edges to be found. The color relationships, which are subtle and pleasing, harmonize to create an overall rhythm, or beat, which is smooth and flowing.

As your eyes move about the canvas, it is difficult to settle on a single point of dominance. Each element carries equal weight. The free-floating color masses appear suspended in an undetectable amount of space, making it difficult to know their relationship to one another in the background, middleground, and foreground. As Dzubas once said, "Beautiful as to do with accepting things as they really are." In Larnacy, Dzubas has reduced everything to color, harmonizing color, which when permitted appeals directly to your affective being. Allow yourself to feel the colors. Find an adjective to describe the emotional response you have to this painting.