Composed Silence Continued
Presence, in its varied manifestations can embody a quality of “otherness.” This is what I attempt to reveal without reverting to tedious styles of fantasy or metaphorical figuration. Obscure and familiar objects and artifacts arranged in unique juxtapositions and settings become totemic-like and evocative. Released from their original functions and initially grouped by variable choice, the final composite of disparate forms can reveal new and unsuspected affinities and qualities. They begin to disclose form’s capacity for non-verbal expression and an eloquence in the encompassing stillness.
Many of the modern movements considered two-dimensionality inviolate and I strive to maintain structural integrity through a foundation of basic geometric shapes. But the spectrum of Modern genres also included PitturaMetafisca, Surrealism and Magic Realism, all characterized by a quality of psychologically charged spatial depth. These were my creative precedents and as a contemporary realist I strive to express the essence of form in compositions of contained or expansive space. As a result, my paintings range from the table-top to the open vista.
It is my hope that these works offer the observer a momentary respite from the cacophony of the day, encourage a sense of wonder of the phenomenal world and act as visual reminders of the enigmatic nature of our reality.
-- Anthony Schepis
Native Clevelander Anthony Schepis began his long career as an artist and teacher following his initial studies at the Cooper School of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art, schools that would later include the painter as a member of their respective faculties. In 1998, the latter institution honored him with professor emeritus status. He earned an MA from Kent State University.
While attending the Cooper School of Art, Schepis had the good fortune of studying with Leslie W. Lintelman, visiting artist from the famed Hartford Art School, who stressed the underpainting and glazing procedure favored by the old masters. The aspiring student soon found his artistic precedents in the Italian Renaissance, such modern movements as PitturaMetafisca which was personified by Giorgio de Chirico and Magic Realism.
Schepis’ luminous canvases appeared with regularity in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s annual May Show. In 1967 his entry was invited for inclusion in the museum’s traveling “Artist of the Western Reserve” exhibition which was installed in museums throughout Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, and Wisconsin. In 1998 he won the May Show’s major painting award. After being established regionally, he exhibited extensively in the midwest, northeast, and mid-Atlantic regions. Many examples of his work have been acquired for private, corporate, and public collections including the Butler Institute of American Art, the Canton Museum of Art (OH), the Massillon Museum (OH), the Richmond Art Museum (IN), Albion College (MI), the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts (PA), Washington-Jefferson College (PA), and the Pakersburg Art Center (WV).
In an essay that describes the spirit and content of the artist’s work, curator Elizabeth McClelland states: “Schepis uses light emanating from the pastoral background to hold the interior and exterior space in equilibrium in a manner reminiscent of Renaissance paintings. Stillness is a characteristic that he shares with Magritte, Morandi, and Cotan.” In an extensive article titled: “Museum as Matchmaker,” Cleveland Magazine writer Dennis Dooley stated: “the best of them shine with the silence of contemplation, expectation poised on the edge of magic.”
In 2005, Cavalier Gallery chose four of Tony’s oils for inclusion in its “Contemporary Realism” exhibition held at the New York City gallery. The artist is also represented by galleries in Birmingham, MI; Cleveland, OH; and Charlotte, NC. He resides in Winter Haven, FL where he continues his creative endeavors.