School of Art

Erik ReeL painting
Erik ReeL, opus 1718, Null, acrylic on paper

Q: I want to get back to your life.  You mentioned the Triumverate at the University of Washington of Spafford, Dailey, and Bob Jones. What drew you to them?  What do you feel you learned there?

ReeL: I was the closest by far to Michael Spafford.  I probably learned the most about painting from him.  He had a looser approach that was all about constantly reworking the paint, which is something I’ve always done, though the end result is significantly different.

Q: So it was Jacob Lawrence, George Tsutakawa, Dick Dahn, Michael Spafford, and then to a lesser extent Dailey and Bob Jones.

ReeL: and some of the art historians, like Rainer Crone. And Pracykowski, who had an obscure, subtle, more poetic approach that totally confused a lot of students. He said things that went right by a lot of them, but I loved his drawing classes. He used to be a classic, and quite good Ab Ex painter when he was young and then veered off into this odd, hard-edged mystical, floating spheres stuff that did no justice to the subtlety of his mind.


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