Image: It’s Not Easy Being Green
(Borownica, Poland, 1928 - March 25, 2017, Seven Hills, Ohio)

It’s Not Easy Being Green , 1980-2000

Acrylic on canvas
57 in. x 57 in. (144.78 cm x 144.78 cm)
Rory and Dedee O'Neil Acquisition Fund
Among the work for which Julian Stanczak is best known are his “Color Grids,” which date from the 1970s. For this series, Stanczak first developed a precise mental image of each composition. Once he determined the canvas size, he mixed his paints—45 individual colors for It’s Not Easy Being Green. The artist used tape to paint defined concentric squares, which change subtly in hue from the outside edges to the interior. The color sequences and lack of pathways for the eye to follow set up an optical phenomenon that causes the center to pulsate. Stanczak does not intend for his paintings to be interpreted, but rather to arrest our attention and invite us to “enjoy the wavelength of a color . . . not unlike the experience of looking at a sunset.”

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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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