Work of the Week – The Glade by Jorge Fick

Monday, March 28, 2016

by Parker Louise Bobbitt

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This week’s Work of the Week is The Glade by Black Mountain College graduate, Jorge Fick.

Gaining new experiences through exposure to other cultures and new environments is a valuable source of inspiration for many. Oftentimes, integrating the knowledge we gain from these experiences into our daily lives can lead to feelings of fulfillment and contribute to a broader understanding of the world.

The Glade is an abstract expressionistic work filled with subtleties. Fick’s wide, gestural  brushstrokes are immediately apparent, and with closer inspection the imperfections of the canvas are visible as well. Across the surface of this work, there is a variety of drips, thick paint application and thin scrapes that reveal the rough grain of the canvas.The light colors in this work create a delicate, airy atmosphere and the contrasting deep reds and browns produce depth.

Indicating a connotation to a landscape, the title of this work, The Glade, refers to an open space within a forest. Perhaps Fick was inspired by the woods surrounding Black Mountain College where he lived at the time he painted this work. During his time at Black Mountain College, Fick was introduced to Zen Buddhism, which influenced his art throughout the rest of his life. Possibly, the title is metaphorically connected to the openness of mind he encountered at BMC.

Before arriving at Black Mountain College in 1952, Jorge Fick went to Cass Technical School in Detroit where he had been born and raised. Though he learned valuable manual and graphic design skills while attending Cass Technical, he could not repress his desire to explore the world and he left Detroit to attend Mexican Art School in Guadalajara, Mexico where he changed his name from George to Jorge as a tribute to his Hispanic culture. His continued wanderings led him to Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Here, he learned from great artists such as Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov and Joseph Fiore and was introduced to Abstract Expressionism which is seen in The Glade.

After graduating from Black Mountain College in 1955, Fick continued to move around the country discovering new inspiration everywhere he went. He moved from New York City where he mingled with the most acclaimed artists and poets of the time to San Francisco where he spent time with the Beat Poets. Finally, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he lived for the remainder of his life. Throughout his extensive travels, Fick was inspired by the people he met, the places he saw and the experiences he gathered.

As he explored new places and reflected on deeper meanings behind it all, Jorge Fick made the vital connections that lead to the creativity behind his greatest works. The Glade is a powerful embodiment of experience and inspiration translated into a work of art.

Artwork above: Jorge Fick, The Glade, 1955, Painting, Dry pigment in oil on canvas. Gift of Eric Firestone. Asheville Art Museum Black Mountain College Collection.