Artists recycle discards for varied effects
"New Works Fellowships: Northern Telecom"
Arlington Museum of Art
Janet Kutner Art Critic of The Dallas Morning News
Published: Sunday, December 4, 1994

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Dallas artist David Szafranski deals in pure abstraction, despite his unusual choice of nylon lawn-chair webbing, flocked ribbon and theater tickets as materials. And though his "paintings" are made by a weaving process not unlike that children use to make looped potholders, the exacting overall patterns he achieves are as effective as the most carefully rendered oils-on-canvas.

Adhering to the strict format of a grid, Mr. Szafranski creates myriad effects. Depending on the color and texture of the material itself, he can produce dazzling optical illusions on sensuous seas of color. In short, he can, through ingenious manipulation of lowly materials, create tightly integrated compositions that are just as deserving of the term "high art" as the minimalist canvases found in major museums throughout the world.

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If Mr. Szafranski comes off as the strongest talent here, it's not simply because his work is the easiest to assimilate. His is a truly eccentric vision, and he displays uncanny ability to come up with fresh solutions to staid compositional problems. The fact that he uses mass produced materials merely makes the challenge that much greater.

A man of many talents, Mr. Szafranski successfully juggles two careers, one as a chemical engineer and the other as an artist. He also runs Gray Matters, the he started here several years ago which is consistently one of the liveliest venues in town. Few area artists are as deserving of the Northern Telecom award.

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