John Gasper American, b. 1952


John Gaspar is a world-renowned artist who has been painting for more than 40 years. He has had solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Dusseldorf, Osaka and has exhibited in many other domestic and international group shows.  In 1977 he earned his BFA in Painting at the State University of NY College in Buffalo, NY and earned his MFA in Painting from Yale University School of Art in 1980. Regarding his painterly style Gaspar has stated: “I’ve been painting for more than 40 years. Most people think I paint like Rothko because of the intimate nature of the way I apply paint to the surface. I consider my subject matter to be mythic. One might say that they’re cave paintings or shadows that are stories.” It is telling that Gaspar references Rothko in comparison to his own work because of the way they both seem to view painting as a philosophical enterprise with an embodied ability to communicate spiritual truths. Just as Rothko saw art to be a fusion of rational order and irrational impulses, Gaspar’s paintings philosophically examine mythical influences over the rational mind and natural world. Geometric patterns, color blocks and grids are often distorted with protruding blocks of color and sometimes distorted, morphing lines. The artist Brice Marden was known to visit Gaspar’s studio and a visual dialogue between the two artists’ bodies of work began to emerge. Gaspar’s work continues to influence several prominent artists and he remains a key figure in the New York Arts Community.