In this intense and provocative painting by Joseph Drapell, a rainbow of bright colours swirls around the canvas. Gradations of orange, purple, pink, lime green, sky blue and white draw the viewer into the center of this gorgeous piece. The Czech-born artist creates remarkably vibrant paintings using trowels, wide serrated blades, and his fingers to apply thick layers of colour. Drapell is known for his ‘compression technique’--applications of thick paint or impasto that produce highly textured pieces.
“In terms of real painting innovation, I admired the work of Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock,
Van Hoffman, Morris Louis, and Canadian artist Jack Bush. It took me 50 years or so to develop my own art, to contribute to the chain of the art of painting.
After emigrating to Canada, Joseph Drapell studied art at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. There he met Canadian artist Jack Bush and the renowned art critic Clement Greenberg who influenced his work. Inspired by the abstract paintings of Morris Louis, he experimented with different techniques to apply wide swaths of paint in thick layers. In the 1990’s he was a founding member of a group of artists called the New New Painters that exhibited together internationally. Drapell is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, and his works are held in both private and public collections in Canada and the U.S.