"of Light through Color, I look towards capturing those transcendent musical elements of light within nature, to express its reflective beauty and underlying mystical reality through color and form."
Statement: Philosophy & Method
To be an Artist is to be in search of what is good, beautiful, and true in life while consenting to one’s natural ability with joy and gratitude in order to share it with others.
My method is lyrical and poetic, where all contact is direct with each piece and dedicated to revealing working in the moment of creating. The work embodies a representational foundational method with an integration of the impressionist and expressionist schools with my vision and my training that was rooted in the academy’s classics where the organizational drawing is an illustrative narrative while keeping the traditional subject of the landscape,
I look to enhance natural beauty by bringing forth the transcendent and the invisible of what is occurring as if what is below the surface, for my brush is dancing upon the atoms of colors.
Through my brushwork, I look to capture through color movement multiple contrapuntal motions, such as what is in music: contrary, similar, parallel, and oblique movements. It is an inventive shorthand looking to contain the 3 components of the rhythmic energy of impressionism: sensitivity, tempo, and charge.
My palette is composed of juxtaposed colors. My color selection is based upon my plein air experience of working in intensity and movement of the light of France’s Provence Cote d’Azur, and in Italy’s Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria, and New England’s coastal regions.
In finishing up the work, I seek to complete it in the moment of the experience where the environment of light through colors are dreamt into existence, applying expressive elements thus creating an image poetry piece with jazzical notes, thereby creating a freshness of an American Impressionist piece.
Statement: The Art Works
How the label as an abstract impressionist came to be a settled description of my current and past work.
In seeking to expand on the legacy bequeath to me by my mentors, I looked to honor the foundation of their different traditions by bringing them forward in my own way.
The impressionist was inspired by the industrial revolution with its speed and convenience of pre-made paints and new colors, along with advanced modes of transportation, and new ways of capturing what they saw now by the camera, and then the beginnings of cultural sharing with Asia.
Our transportation today takes us deep into the oceans and out far beyond into planetary travel, with cameras morphing into electron microscopes to the Hubble telescope bringing back unimaginable images. With globalization, distant cultures are now co-mingling in real time and space, and also virtually. One cannot help but be influenced. This expansive path from hunting, agrarian, industrial to now technological age will only speed up.
While some artists look to reflect the ideology of their culture, others look to predict the future. Yet here my work of the past decades speaks of my experience of being surrounded by nature.
Tide Pools series, as the title states, represents an ever-changing fluid eco-world that is filled with life. I can not help but reflect upon these tiny systems, a microcosm of the larger cycle of life that sustains me. I am moved to awe and wonder as the tide pool reflects the sky, seeing the birds above and creatures below interacting as if they actually were.
The fluid dynamics of the water, the pull of the tides by the moon, the swirls of wind and the changes of the atmosphere which surrounds me becomes my muse.
In the Provencal series I was exploring the classical influences of the impressionist masters, to build on their ideas to move them forward, yet being true to the many approaches from optical mixing, simultaneous contrast to be in respect to their inventions as the gateway to modern art. Impressionism in its flexibility is sweet yet dynamic and thought-provoking. I looked to express in color and form the vitality of my Plein air experience painting in France and Italy.
In the Shepherd’s Pass series I wanted to move into expressing more of a post-impressionist mode by deconstructing with lyricism, while not fracturing in hard edges; so as to work more organically and fluid both consciously and unconsciously. Each one is an illuminated memory of my Plein air experience of the light and atmosphere, in addition to sharing that with my students the food, wine, and culture of Italy and France.
The two Waveny Park pieces are a variant on American Impressionism where the pictorial narrative and sense of place were fully established. However, my sensations while painting in the meadow overrode the accuracy of nature with a poetic narrative of color and mood.
Weir Farm Series runs the full range from natural to post-impressionism, yet always having the themes of the American pictorial sense of place with an accurate drawing underlying its foundation, that moved into areas of abstraction to express my passion of the moment and thus was ignited by a poetic expressionistic and fauvist sense of color.
Compline: New England Trek is a recent piece, a work honoring New England. It is a culmination of what I developed and experienced from those decades painting and trekking through the northeast in the 70s to the 90s, and what I have discovered from moving through different styles and periods of my work. It is one of humble expressions of gratitude to America and the American impressionists.
Statement: About the Artist
Dmitri Wright’s artistic lineage stems from the American Impressionists. His mentors have been Samuel Brecher, who studied under Charles W. Hawthorne the founder of the Cape Cod Art School. Hawthorne was a student of William Merritt Chase. Donald Brown an expressionist influenced Wright to accept the Max Beckman International Scholarship at the Brooklyn Museum Art School where he then studied under Rueben Tam, and at Cooper Union, he studied under Wolf Kahn and Will Barnet.
As an American artist, Wright’s travels have taken him to paint and/or teach throughout the United States and visiting over a dozen National Park sites in addition to Italy, France, Ireland, Austria, England, West Indies, Central, and South America, and China. His work focuses on the Preservation and Progress of Impressionism.
Wright’s work is housed in hundreds of collections. Museums: National Art Museum of Sport, Newark Museum, Brooklyn Museum. Corporate: Time Warner, Sloan Kettering, AT&T, Wells Fargo Bank, Pitney Bowes, Verizon, Connecticut Water Co. Private collectors throughout New England and East Coast; and International - Japan, Italy, China.
50 Year Retrospective Mattatuck Museum, National Arts Club NYC; Brooklyn Museum NYC; Newark Museum NJ, Sorelle Gallery, Silvermine Art Center, New Canaan Library, Wilton Library CT; Watershed Gallery Ridgefield CT; Ana Cara Gallery Greenwich, Weir Farm National Historic Site, NPS; National Art Museum of Sport; Old Town Hall Museum of Stamford; Cos Cob Library; Greenwich Historical Society.
Instructor/Master Artist/Board Member
Wright is the Master Artist/Instructor for Weir Farm National Historic Site, the National Park dedicated to American Impressionism. Wright, in the tradition of John Henry Twachtman founder of the Cos Cob Art Colony, is the first artist-in-residence instructing and lecturing at the Greenwich Historical Society, the birthplace of American Impressionism, where he now is serving on the board of trustees of the museum.
He also instructs at Silvermine Art School and privately; and has supported the Florence Griswold Museum, another site related to American Impressionism. In the USA and Europe, he has given workshops and museum tours on ‘How to be an Impressionist’ in addition to being a judge for art shows.
Wright was the winner of the national scholarship at Cooper Union and the Max Beckman International Scholar Program at Brooklyn Museum Art School, and valedictorian at the Newark School of Fine & Industrial Arts majored in Painting.
Artists' Fellowship, NY, NY
Friends of Weir Farm, CT
Board of Trustee, Greenwich Historical Society
Knight, Order of Malta, American Association