Jerry Michalak is an educator and artist residing in the Hudson River Valley. For a number of years he was a representational landscape painter, working and exhibiting in upstate New York. He attended the State University of New York at New Paltz, studying with Modernist Alexander Minewski and Abstract Expressionist painter, Joop Sanders. He earned his post-graduate degree in painting, photography and Art Education.
Over the past several years, Jerry worked on a series of winter landscapes, specifically wooded areas. These paintings were very abstract with minimal color. They reflect one of his favorite quotes: "There's not enough nothing in it" by John Cage. New York Times reviewer, Benjamin Genocchio commenting on his work, wrote: …"Beginning with depictions of landscapes, he gradually covers them with layers of white paint until they disappear, imitating the effects of a snowstorm. To use an adjective that may sound old school (or new age), they are incandescent”. (Weather Channel, group exhibit, Islip Art Museum 2009) These paintings were predominantly white, others done later in this series emphasized a greater use of color.
Although Jerry is not currently using snow or winter as a major theme, many of his images have been taken from sketches and photographs, old and new, from his favorite surroundings. These works are not necessarily a depiction of any one season or event but are a fusion of textures, colors and imagery that have been observed over a span of time. Some of his works will suggest woodland trails and locations that are found throughout the Hudson Valley, while others are abstractions from past ideas and new mixed media sketches. Some of his newest paintings are a series of waterfalls and their natural and complex surroundings .
2019 - Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, "Focus-A Better World" juried exhibit
2018 - Woodstock Artists Assotiation and Museum, "Focus-the Abstract Heart " received JUROR'S AWARD
2016 - WAAM Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, Woodstock NY Solo Show - April 2016
Gallery 66 NY - Cold Spring, NY - "Survey of Regional Artists" Invitational Exhibit
2015 - Kent Art Association, Kent Ct - Juried Fine Arts Exhibit
WAAM Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, Woodstock NY - "Noteworthy" Invitational Exhibit
Gallery@TheFalcon, Marlboro NY - Solo Exhibit (18 paintings from 2013-2014)
2014 - Arts on the Lake, Lake Carmel NY - Fine Art Exhibit
2013 - Art in the Loft, Millbrook NY - Juried Exhibit
Pour House Gallery, Poughkeepsie NY - Solo Exhibit
Putnam Arts Council, Mahopac NY – Juried Fine Arts Exhibit
2012 - Warner gallery, Millbrook NY – “Snow Bound” Solo Exhibit
Arts Mid-Hudson, Poughkeepsie NY - Fine Arts Exhibit
2009 - Islip Art Museum, Islip NY – Invitational Exhibit
Other exhibits include:
Arts on the Lake, Lake Carmel NY - Several Annual Fine Arts Exhibits
Merwinsville Hotel Restoration, Gaylordsville CT – Invitational Fine Arts Exhibits
Putnam Arts Council, Mahopac NY - Juried Fine Art Exhibits, “Best in Show” and Merit Award
Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY - Invitational Group Exhibit
Neuberger Museum, Purchase NY - Juried Educators Exhibition
SUNY New Paltz, N.Y. - Invitational Educators Exhibit
White Pond Art Center, Stormville NY - Group Exhibit, Merit Award
Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed the details in the ever changing appearance of wooded areas and wetlands. I have traditional background in black and white photography and have spent several years photographing images of ice, water, snow and the brush and bramble that make up these surroundings. In time, my work in photography began to influence the direction of my painting. As a result, I began working with winter images in mixed media on paper and abstracting snow covered woodlands on canvas.
In some of my earlier works, I started with a realistic drawing, adding colors, strokes and to my compositions. I would layer several shades of white until the colors would blur, fragment and almost disappear. The combination of layering, re-drawing and fragmenting shapes became the mechanism that completed my paintings. It has been said that the layering of white until the images and colors seem to disappear “imitated the effects of a snow storm.”
Over the past several years I have painted compositions that are a mixture of seasonal colors, shapes and textures that are of area wooded places. They are a comment on nature’s pushing and pulling and the disarray that is brought about by the ravages of time. These broken, trampled, frozen and distorted images are the elements that become the foundation for many of my paintings.
More recently, I have been working on a number of paintings from images, many of them waterfalls in the Lower Hudson Valley and surrounding areas. Some are narratives, either obvious or obscure while others are abstractions of the regions physical world.
One of my favorite artists is the American Modernist, John Marin.
“I did something I rather like, a disorderly orderly sort of thing…painting disorder under a big order.” ( disorder being the chaos of the visible world) John Marin
Email for availability; prices upon request.
Jerry's studio is located in the town of Holmes, Dutchess County, New York, where he resides with his wife, Victoria
and dog, Fuji.
"there's not enough nothing in it" - john cage
"SNOW BOUND" 2012 Warner Gallery - Millbrook NY
WOODSTOCK ARTISTS ASSOCIATION AND MUSEUM
Woodstock Artists Association and Museum
"The Abstract Heart"
recipient of the JUROR'S AWARD 2019