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About Me

Ever since I moved to NYC nearly 30 years ago, after completing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the city has been an enduring source of subject matter and inspiration for me. Most of the images on this site are executed in egg tempera, an ancient medium that was widely used for altarpieces during the late Middle Ages and which had a resurgence in a range of secular works by American artists during the first half of the 20th century. Several of the W.P.A.-era artists who contributed to this wave became my mentors later on, and much of what I’ve been able to accomplish is a result of their guidance and friendship.

Egg Tempera is paradoxical medium. It embodies the qualities of both fragility and permanence. The slow meditative process of layering the delicate brushstrokes which make up the surface of a tempera painting has the effect of imparting an intimate stillness to even the most active composition. I and other contemporary painters have found this medium of Byzantine icons to be equally well suited to secular urban scenes. These make up a large part of my work. In my New York paintings I’ve attempted to note not only the clutter and eccentricities of daily life but also that which is timeless and universal in a fast-paced environment.

EDUCATION

1984

MFA Painting and Drawing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

1978- 80

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

1977

University of Paris, Paris, France

1978

BA Romance Languages — French, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA


 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017

Works in Egg Tempera - Doug Safranek, The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

2016-17

Doug Safranek: Both Sides of the Bridge, Museum of Art - DeLand, DeLand, Florida

2006

ACA Galleries, New York, NY

2001

Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA

1999

Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY

1992

Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY

1988

Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY

1982

City County Building, Madison, WI

1980

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA


 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020 

The Salmagundi Club 42nd Annual Juried Painting and Sculpture Exhibition for Non-Members
Best In Show

2020

Track Work: One Hundred Years of New York City's Subway, ACA Galleries, New York, NY

2019

The League of Masters, Past and Present: Works by the Art Students League of New York Teachers and Students; The Gallery at the New York Center for Design; New York, NY.

2017

The Salmagundi Club Non-Members Exhibition
Certificate of Merit

2016

83rd Annual Juried Exhibition--Hudson Valley Art Association
Jane Peterson Memorial Award

Lynn Loflin: Textiles, Doug Safranek: Paintings, The Centerpoint Gallery at Anthroposophy NYC, March 16th through June 30th.

2015

The Salmagundi Club Non-Members' Painting and Sculpture Exhibition

Recent Works by Doug Safranek and Lynn Loflin, The Goatshed Gallery, Williamsburg Brooklyn

2014

The Salmagundi Club Non-Members' Painting and Sculpture Exhibition

ACA Galleries Summer Exhibition

82nd Annual Juried Exhibition--Hudson Valley Art Association 
Frank and Marjorie Van Steen Memorial Award

2013

85th Grand national Exhibition--The American Artists Professional League

100th Annual Exhibition--Allied Artists of America 
America China Oil Painting Artists League Award

2012 - 14

Two to Tango: Artist and Viewer, The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA

2012

The Allied Artists of America, Inc. 99th Annual Exhibition, National Arts Club Galleries, New York, NY
The Gold Medal of Honor

Salmagundi Club NY 35th Annual Non Member Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, 
Denise Bibro Gallery, New York, NY
Jack Richeson & Co. Certificate Award: Runner Up for Best in Show

2010

Egg Tempera: Contemporary Masters, Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Brattleboro, VT

2009

Layered Luminescence: The Art of Egg Tempera, ACA Galleries, New York, NY
2006 Splash: Artist’s Reflections on the Water, ACA Galleries, New York, NY

2005

James Watrous and Friends: The Legacy and Influence of James Watrous, Overture 
Center for the Arts, Madison, WI

NYC, DFN Gallery, New York, NY

2004

Group Exhibition of 19th and 20th Century American and Contemporary Art, ACA Galleries, New York, NY

2000

Painting the Town: Cityscapes from the Museum of the City of New York, Paine Webber Gallery, New York, NY

The Enduring Figure, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

1999

Summer in the City, Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY
Scale Matters: Mega vs. Mini, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

1997

Our Town: Images from the Museum of The City of New York, New York, NY 

Realism in 20th Century American Painting, Ogunquit Museum of Art, Ogunquit, ME

1996

Daily Life in America, Kennedy Museum of American Art, Ohio University, Athens, OH

1995

New York Now: Contemporary Cityscapes from the Museum of The City of New York, New York, NY

1994

The City Observed, Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Dialogues: On and Off the Wall, Schmidt Bingham Gallery and Garth Clark Gallery, New York, NY

1992 - 93

Silverpoint Etcetera: Contemporary American Metalpoint Drawings. Traveling museum show: The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK; Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL; Farnsworth Museum of Art, Rockland, ME

1991

Academy-Institute Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY

1990

The Figure, The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK

1988

Focus on Art, National Council of Jewish Women, Livingston, NY

1986

Ten Contemporary Realists, Alice Bingham Gallery, Memphis, TN

America: New Vistas, Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY

Character Revealed: Faces and Figures, Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY

1985 - 86

The Object Revitalized, The Paine Art Center, Oshkosh, WI and The Muscatine Art Center, Muscatine, IA

1985

The Collector’s Show, The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK

1982

The Wisconsin Biennial, Madison Art Center, Madison, WI


 

GRANTS AND AWARDS

1995

E.D. Foundation Award, New York, NY

1993

E.D. Foundation Award, New York, NY

1986

The Elizabeth Greenshield’s Grant, Montreal, Canada

1981 - 84

Marie Kohler Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

1980 - 81

WARF Graduate Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI


 

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS

The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

The Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

The Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY

The New York Historical Society, New York, NY

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA

The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL


 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Haynes and Boone, Dallas, TX

Tudor Investment Company, New York, NY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Being Human--a quarterly publication of the Anthroposophical Society in America, Cover of Fall Issue 2013.

Crain,Caleb. "The Artistic Animal" Cover Story: Lingua Franca, Volume 11, No. 7--October 2001.

“Doug Safranek at Schmidt Bingham Gallery,” The New Yorker(March 29, 1999): 20. The Gettysburg Review (Spring 2000): 89–96.

Epstein, Ian. "Painter Doug Safranek's Personal History with an Ancient Medium", Artsy Editorial (February 5th, 2016).

Grant, Daniel. “The Art World’s Slowpokes,” The Huffington Post (Nov. 10, 2011).

Grimes, Nancy. “Douglas Safranek at Schmidt Bingham,” Art in America (April 1996): 118–119.

Hackett, Regina. “Doug Safranek at Frye Art Museum,” Art News (Summer, 2001): 180.

———. “Safranek’s Cityscapes: Desolate, Alive,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer (May 14, 2001).

Hurwitz, Laurie. “Douglas Safranek,” American Artist (August, 1989).

Johnson, Ken. Art Review, The New York Times (July 14, 2000): E30.

———. “Art Review,” The New York Times, (January 14, 2005).

“Layered Luminescence,” Art Review, Art News (June 2009).

Leggio, Gail. “Keep it Fresh: Contemporary artists Exploring Tradition,” American Arts Quarterly (Spring 2009).

“The Masters of Tempera,” American Art Collector Magazine (March 2009).

“New York City Shines Through Timeless Artistic Medium,” Lilipoh Magazine (Spring 2009).

Our Town: Images and Stories from the Museum of the City of New York, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1997.

Painting the Town—Cityscapes of New York, Yale University Press: New Haven, CT 2000.

Riva, Alessandro. “Doug Safranek — Il volto nascosto di Brooklyn,” Arte (April, 2003): 140–45.

———. “Nuovi Realismi — American Tabloid,” Arte (December, 2002): 99–105.

“Scale Matters: Mega vs. Mini,” Review, The Sun Sentinel (May 14, 1999).

Schwartz, Jane. Unclaimed Moments: The Paintings of Doug Safranek,” Doug Safranek, Both Sides of the Bridge: New York in Egg Tempera, 2006.

O'Hern, John. All About Scale, Collector's Focus: Small Works and Miniatures, American Art Collector Online (November 2020)