Sebastian Spreng Paintings Dazzle in Santa Fe Exhibit

Internationally known painter Sebastian Spreng has been part of Miami’s vibrant art scene since moving here from Buenos Aires in 1987, although born in another Santa Fe – in Argentina. His latest effort, “Music Within Silence: The Minimalist Paintings of Sebastian Spreng” debuted recently with a triumphant opening reception at Mill Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico where it will run through August 27th.

Spreng’s exhibitions have appeared worldwide in Boston, Seattle, Panamá, Munich, Osaka, Toronto, Caracas, Dusseldorf, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Miami among many other cities. A self-taught painter deemed a minimalist by many of his reviewers, his work quite often revisits seascapes, musical themes, looming color fields, and isolated figures.

Confined to a wheelchair as a teen because of muscular dystrophy, Spreng created a “swimmer’s” series between 1979 and 1999, with paintings consisting of atmospheric landscapes met by an expanse of ocean in which a solitary swimmer glides. The swimmer is alone but the mood is not lonely; the protagonist seems in charge of his domain, free to be alone. His paintings are charged with both the landscapes of his youth and a vivid interior world. The Pampas’ oceans of wheat, the “strange, dreamy” summer nights of Miami – each can be found backlighting a solitary tree, a dark figure, or a winding road. Of his influences, Spreng says, “from classical music to just silence and the music within that silence. From the brightest colors to the darkness and the light within that darkness, great people and great artists are a source of inspiration always.”

Spreng is also a magnificent writer and devotee of classical music. When he was not painting, he was a correspondent for Buenos Aires’ foremost classical music magazine, Clásica, which has allowed him to be “in contact with another world” of intellectual exchange and imagination and now writes for his own blog Miami Clasica, The Miami Herald/Nuevo Herald, Opera News and other publications.

Spreng’s artwork has appeared on countless Florida Philharmonic Orchestra Playbills as many of his paintings carry music themes and titles, including Liederkreis, Wagner’s Ring, Sinfonietta, and Impromptus. According to art critic Jan Batet, Spreng has the unique ability to create “in the pictorial space a feeling of cycle or evolution,” though, unlike the developments in a musical score, a painting occurs in a set time. It is with this ability that Spreng freely moves between genres, truly multicultural.

Spreng’s current exhibit at Mill Fine Art is located at Number 530 on the lower end of historic Canyon Road. It’s considered to be one of the best art galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico, exhibiting primarily non-representation and minimalist artwork. The gallery presents the finest emerging and mid-career American artists as selected by gallery directors Mary Mill and Verne Stanford. The exhibit will run through August 27, 2012.


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