Artist's Statement

*    *    *

My paintings are a carefully observed negotiation, manipulated layer upon layer in order to create a work of art as equivalent as possible to the complexity of real life.They are an attempt to control the almost uncontrollable substance that is oil paint, and the equally untamable expression of the human condition.

Pushing around puddles of this almost living substance, I am endlessly defining and redefining the craft of oil painting to fabricate an animated, breathing image grounded in the recognizable and familiar. Since I am purposefully involved with the contemporary world, I always seek to merge it with a surface that is at once abstractly patterned and textured, and that combines a meticulous respect for realism with the power of the personal image to speak a universal language. I want the subject and its environment to collide through the use of echo and repetition to form a united composition. We are constantly bombarded visually and I hope to infuse my work with a way of engaging the viewer that is both evocatively silent and powerfully commanding.

The artists I have been most influenced by are quite diverse: Caravaggio, Velazquez, Egon Schiele and Kathe Kollwitz. Their paintings share both a profound respect and reverence for the individual with the power and the wisdom to explore those themes that haunt us: man's strength, resilience and sensuality, together with the possession of an almost shocking clarity in this pursuit. I believe in the transformative powers of painting: that the luminosity of pigment and medium is as manifest as the surface of the soul



BORN: 1953

EDUCATION:

  • Art Students League, New York, NY
  • National Academy of Design, New York, NY
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY



SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

  • 2013 "Flesh", One Person Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2012 One Person Show, O’Kane Gallery, Houston, TX
  • 2008 One Person Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2002 "Drawn to the Surface," Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1999 "Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral," Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1994 One-Person Show, Sundance Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
  • 1993 One-Person Show, Asher Gallery, Boca Raton, FL
  • 1992 "Opposites Attract," Sherry French Gallery, NY
  • 1990 One-Person Show, Sherry French, New York, NY
  • 1989 One-Person Show, Sherry French, New York, NY
  • 1987 One-Person Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1985 One-Person Show, The Saint, New York, NY
  • 1983 One-Person Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1980 One-Person Show, Harbor Gallery, Long Island, NY
  • 1978 Two-Person Show, Harbor Gallery, Long Island, NY


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

  • 2017, "Human Interest: six figurative painters", Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2016, "Fifty Years a Dealer: George Henoch Shechtman", Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2015, "Painting the Good Woman", Portraits Inc. Gallery, New York, NY 
  • 2015 "Still Life", Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2015, "Winter Mix", Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2015 18th Edition, ArtPalmBeach, Palm Beach County Convention Center, Miami, FL
  • 2014 "Todays Portrait: Emerging Artists and Leading Masters" at New York's Salmagundi Club, Portraits, Inc., New York, NY
  • 2014 "The Tie That Binds", A Pay it Forward Event, Principle Gallery, Charleston, SC
  • 2014 CRB: Contemporary Realism Biennial 2014, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Ft. Wayne, Ind
  • 2013 Context Art Miami, Gallery Henoch Booth, Miami Beach, FL
  • 2013 Portraits Inc., Spring Portrait Exhibition at Aradar Galleries, New York
  • 2013 ACOPAL “Exhibition of Contemporary American Realism” traveling to 8 museums in China through November, 2013
  • 2012 Portraits Inc., Spring Portrait Exhibition at Aradar Galleries, New York, NY
  • 2011 ACOPAL (American China Oil Painting Artists League) "Exhibition of Contemporary American Realism" At the National Arts Club, New York, NY
  • 2010 Included as an invited artist in "Inspiring Figures" an exhibition celebrating American Women in Figurative Art, at The Butler Institute of Art, Youngstown, OH.
  • 2010 "Summer Group Show" Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2010 Stone Quarry Hill Art Park's exhibition, "The Contemporary Portrait and Figure" at Art Park's John and Virginia Winner Memorial Art Gallery, Cazenovia, NY. 2010 The Synergies Exhibition of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, sponsored by UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme). At The Bohemian National Hall, Czech Center New York,
  • 2009 Still Lifes” Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2009 "Self-Portrait and Portrait of an Artist from the 18th to the 21st Century", the Museum of the Russian Academy of the Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 2009 "Art 20" at the Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
  • 2009 "Artists and Monitors" at The Alex Adam Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2008 "Remnants of War" Exhibition at the National Arts Club, New York, NY
  • 2008 Los Angeles Art Show, Santa Monica, CA
  • 2007 "Male/Female," Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2007 "The Colors of My Home," The African American of Nassau County, Nassau Community College, Long Island, NY
  • 2007-09 "Hyacinth/Tulips" Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, TX. (travels to: Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, WI; The Dunnegan Gallery of Art, Bolivar, MO Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute, Tucson, AZ; The R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, LA; The Wildlife Experience, Parker, CO; The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN; The Spartanburg County Museum of Art, Spartanburg, SC; The Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH)
  • 2007 Los Angeles Art Show, Santa Monica, CA
  • 2007 Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2006 "Juxtaposition," Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2006 "Why The Nude?" The Art Students League, New York, NY
  • 2006 "The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Exhibition," Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC.
  • 2006 "Forty Years: A Dealers Collection," Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2006 Art of the Twentieth Century, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
  • 2006 Art Chicago in the Park, Chicago, IL
  • 2006 Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2005 "Teachers from the Art Students League, Daniel Green, Burton Silverman & Sharon Sprung," Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2005 Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2005 Art in the 20th Century, New York, NY
  • 2005 USArtists, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2005 San Francisco Int'l Art Exposition, San Francisco, CA
  • 2005 Art Chicago in the Park, Chicago, IL
  • 2004 Group Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2004 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 2004 Art Students League, New York, NY
  • 2004 Portraits Inc., New York, NY
  • 2004 Art of the Twentieth Century, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
  • 2003 Carriage Barn Fine Arts Center, Sponsored by the New Canaan Society, New Canaan CT
  • 2003 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 2003 Portraits Inc., New York, NY
  • 2003 Group Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2002 Portraits Inc., New York, NY
  • 2002 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 2002 Art of the 20th Century, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
  • 2001 Portraits Incorporated, New York, NY
  • 2001 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 2001 Holiday Group Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2001 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 2000 Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA
  • 2000 Group Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 2000 Portraits Incorporated, New York, NY
  • 1999 "American Figurative Painters," Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1996 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 1996 ART MIAMI, International Art Exposition, Miami Beach, FL
  • 1995 "Virtuosity International Art Fair", Art Communication International, New York, NY
  • 1995 ART MIAMI '95, International Art Exposition, Miami Beach, FL
  • 1994 Portraits Incorporated, New York, NY
  • 1994 Fall Group Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1994 Two-Person Show, Sundance Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
  • 1992-93 "The New Whitney Dissenters," Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY (Traveled to: Rockford College Art Gallery, Rockford, IL; Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA)
  • 1991-92 "The Children Among Us", Krasdale Foods Gallery, White Plains, NY
  • 1991 "The Eternal Male: Ares and Pluto", Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1991 "To Grant or Not to Grant", Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY (Traveled to: The Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN)
  • 1991 "INAUGURAL EXHIBITION II: Gallery and Invited Artists", Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY 1990 "Objects Observed: Contemporary Still Life", Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1990 "165th Annual Exhibition", National Academy of Design, New York, NY
  • 1990 "Pastels '90", Midwest Pastel Society, Fifth National Juried Exhibition, Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, Chicago, IL
  • 1990 "Collector's Show", The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
  • 1990 "Site Specific-Available for Commission", Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1990 "The New Era", James Cox Gallery, Woodstock, NY
  • 1990 "Waiting for Cadmium", Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1990 Chicago International Art Exhibition, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
  • 1990-92 "Illumination and Radiance: Epiphanies in Contemporary Painting", Sherry French Gallery New York, NY (Traveled to: Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, Kalamazoo, MI; The University of Oklahoma Museum of Art, Norman, Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX; Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc, WI)
  • 1989-91 "Revelation and Devotion: The Spirit of Religion in Contemporary Art", Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY (Traveled to: Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA; Art Gallery at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN; Valparaiso, IN; Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY)
  • 1989-90 "Love and Charity: The Tradition of Charities in Contemporary Painting", Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY, (Traveled to: Dowd Fine Arts Gallery, SUNY at Cortland, NY; The Noyes Museum, Oceanville, NJ; Roland Gibson Gallery, SUNY at Potsdam, NY; Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, Roanoke, VA)
  • 1988 "The Feminine", Sherry French Gallery, NY Chicago International Art Exposition, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
  • 1987 "Toys", Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1986 Pastel Society of America, New York, NY
  • 1986 National Academy School of Fine Arts, NY
  • 1986 Museum of National Arts Foundation, Mead Data Central, Washington, D.C.
  • 1986 Group Show, Gallery 99, Bay Harbor, FL
  • 1985 Hermitage Foundation Museum, Norfolk, VA
  • 1984 National Academy of Design, New York, NY
  • 1983 "Harrison Council for the Arts", SUNY at
  • 1983 Purchase, NY, juried by Alice Neel,
  • 1983 David Findlay Jr., and Ned Rifkin
  • 1983 Group Show, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1983 10th Congress-International Association of Art, Helsinki, Finland
  • 1982 Hudson River Museum, New York, NY
  • 1982 Harbor Gallery, Long Island, NY
  • 1982 Gallery Henoch, New York, NY
  • 1982 Christopher Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1982 Allied Artists of America, New York, NY
  • 1981 Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
  • 1981 Christopher Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1981 Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
  • 1979 "Contemporary Naturalism", Doll and Richards, Boston, MA
  • 1978 Pastel Society of America, New York, NY
  • 1978 Group Show, Harbor Gallery, Long Island, NY
  • 1978 Allied Artists of America, New York, NY
  • 1978 Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
  • 1977 Pastel Society of America, New York, NY
  • 1977 National Arts Club, New York, NY
  • 1977 Allied Artists of America, New York, NY
  • 1977 "Seven Young Realists", Baruch College, NY
  • 1976 Allied Artists of America, New York, NY
  • 1976 "Young Artists", Harbor Gallery, Long Island, NY
  • 1975 "Young Artists", Harbor Gallery, Long Island, NY


SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS:

  • Bell Laboratories, Oradell, NJ
  • AT & T, Jacksonville, FL
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  • Scott Bennett, Inc., New York, NY
  • Sherman and Sterling, New York, NY
  • The Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY
  • Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY
  • United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC
  • Hobart and Smith College, Geneva, NY
  • Federal Courthouse, Southern District of New York, New York City


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  • Bloomfield, Maureen, The Artist's Magazine, "Stories without Words, Secrets of a Commission Portrait Painter", March 2017 issue, pages 32 to 39.
  • McElhinney, James L. Editor, "Art Students League of New York On Painting: lessons and meditations on mediums, styles and methods", with the Instructors of the Art Students League of New York, Watson-Guptill Publications, Berkeley, CA, 2015, pages 91-102.
  • Zeller, Robert, "The Figurative Artist's Handbook: a contemporary guide to figure drawing painting and composition". Published by Monacelli Press, New York 2016, page 234
  • Poets and Artists Magazine, (online) "Devotion" curated by Daniel Maidman, November 2015, Issue 68, 2 images, pages 92-93
  • Competition Spotlight, The Artist's Magazine, December 2015 issue, page 80
  • Sprung, Sharon, LINEA - the Artist's Voice, "Take Five - lessons from five paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection", June 23, 2015. (ASL website)
  • Sprung, Sharon, LINEA - the Artist's Voice, "Tools of the Trade - a look at the tools we use to make art", June 17, 2015. (ASL website)
  • Gheno, Dan, "FIGURE DRAWING", Northlight Books, Cincinnati, OH, 2015, Page 95.
  • Sprung, Sharon, LINES from the League, "Life in Paint", Spring 2015 issue, Pages 20 and 21.
  • Green Carl, Luxury Magazine, "Mirror, Mirror - The Art of the Portrait in the Age of the Selfie"
    Spring 2015 issue, Pages 210 to 219.
  • Gormley, Michael, Portraits Inc., Website Blog article, "Genre Bending: Sharon Sprung Re-Invents Portraiture" in the December 2014 Site/News/Blog.
  • Gianelli, Sarah, Hi*Fructose, The New Contemporary Art Magazine, "Sharon Sprung's Portraits of Contemplative Women" In the August 12, 2014 post.
  • Stricklin, Krystle, American Art Collector, “In the Flesh with Sharon Sprung” December 2013 issue, page 34. 
  • Pratique des Arts, Portfolio des artistes, “Peintres ’a l’atelier” In the May 2013 issue, page 45.
  • Ginzberg, Max, The Artist’s Magazine, “A Tale of Two Countries, a powerful exhibition of 100 paintings by 51 American realists in Beijing, China”. In the March 2013 issue, pages 14 to 16.
  • Egnoski, Christine, International Artist Magazine, “Words of Wisdom, from the 2012 Faculty” In the February/March 2012 issue, pages 26 to 31. Passing on traditions to future artists.
  • Parks, John A, American Artist Magazine, "Inspiring Figures: Portraits by Women" in the November 2010 issue, pages 40 to 47, an article about the current exhibition at the Butler Institute of Art.
  • Poets and Artists Magazine, (online) Volume 3, Issue 9, October 2010, Profile and 6 images, pages 42 through 47.
  • "Inspiring Figures" August 2010 edition, pages 68 through 73. With Mary Beth McKenzie and eight other artists.
  • Harris, Lauren and Wetmore, Gordon, American Art Collector, Art of the Portrait section, McElhinney, James Lancel and the Instructors of the Art Students League, "Classical Life Drawing Studio: lessons & teaching in the art of figure drawing," with a foreword by Will Barnet. Published by Sterling, New York & London 2010, 207 pages.
  • Apostal, Amanda, Journal of the Portrait Society of America, "Mirrors with Powerful Reflections", Issue No. 5, 3rd Quarter 2009
  • Finkelstein, Alix, Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, "New Directions in Child Portraiture", December 2009, pp. 39-42
  • Hafesh, Louise, The Artist's Magazine, "Abstractly Real", April 2008, pp. 26-34
  • Ball, Jennifer, The Artist's Magazine, "The Art is in the Details", October 2003, p.41
  • Who's Who in American Women, from 1996
  • Fried, John, Worth, "Master Strokes", June 2000
  • Who's Who in the East, from 1997
  • Where/New York, Nov. 1992
  • Art News Reviews, "To Grant or Not to Grant?" Knoxville Museum of Art, Nov. 1991, p154
  • Williams, Don, Knoxville Museum of Fine Art Exhibit Asks: TO GRANT OR NOT TO GRANT?"
  • The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Sunday May 5th 1991, cover and p. 3, color reproduction
  • Von Weist, Powell, "Art and Antiques - This Month's Important Shows," Nov. 1990, p.12 color reproduction
  • Baker, Penny, "The Art of Loving Care, Charity," depicted in the Noyes Museum Show", Garden State Press, Jan. 21, 1990, pp. H1-H3
  • Mode et Mode, 1985
  • Singer, Joe, "How to Paint the figure in Pastel", Watson-Guptill, New York, NY, 1976, p. 120, reproduction.


PUBLICATIONS:

  • Giles, Kevin S., ONE WOMAN AGAINST WAR, Booklocker, 2016. "Jeanette Rankin," cover. 
  • Brookner, Anita, UNDUE INFLUENCE, Random House, New York, 1999, 'City Wildlife," cover.


TEACHING EXPERIENCE:

  • Portrait and Figure Festival, The Art League, Alexandria, VA, October 2014
  • Comprehensive Portrait Intensive, The Art Students League of New York, July 2014
  • "Painting Flesh", Portrait Society of America Conference, April 2014
  • Landscape & Cityscape Painting for 8 days in Havana, Cuba, January 2014
  • Painting of the Figure, for 12 days at SACI in Florence, Italy, Spring, 2013
  • “Expressing Form Using Color”, Portrait Society of America Conference, May 2012
  • Master Class in St. Petersburg at the Russian Academy of Art, Fall 2009
  • Figure Painting for 2 weeks at SACI in Florence, Italy, Spring 2009
  • Instructor of Painting-The Art Students League, 2004-date
  • Instructor of Painting and Drawing-National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, 1993-date


AWARDS & RECOGNITION:

  • Bestowed with the designation of Signature Membership by The Portrait Society of America, April, 2016.
  • Award of Excellence, Category of Fine Art, by the Publisher of Creative Quarterly, the Best of Art & Design Quarterly 2015
  • "Portrait of Girl in Window", wins First Honorable mention, Members Only Competition, Outside the Box Category, of The Portrait Society of America, Fall 2015.
  • "Untangled" wins Fifth Honorable Mention, Members Only Competition, Non-commissioned Portrait Category, of The Portrait Society of America, Fall 2015. 
  • "The Curious Chinese Boxes" wins First Honorable Mention, Members Only Competition, Still Life Category, of The Portrait Society of America, Fall 2015.
  • Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, Spring Gala, New York City, May 2012
  • "Sari" wins Third Place, Member's Only Competition, Nude Category, of The Portrait Society of America, Winter 2012
  • Appointed Member of the Board, Artist's Fellowship, Inc., Fall 2011
  • Reclining Girl" oil on panel, 16"x28" has been awarded the Purchase Prize and The William Bouguereau Award by the Art Renewal Center, 2011
  • "Broken Window" wins First Place in the annual National Portrait Competition of The Portrait Society of America, 2011
  • Second Prize Winner in International Artist Magazine's - Challenge No. 58 competition: "Favorite Subjects". August/September 2010 edition, page 6.
  • Interviewed on WNET's “SundayArts Profiles the Art Students League”. Aired Sunday, May 16, 2010 on WNET and WLIW. The 15-minute profile portrays the League as a vibrant community of learning, working, and teaching artists.
  • U.S. State Department: Master Class “Self-Portrait and Portrait of an Artist from the 18th to the 21st Century” at St. Petersburg Academy of the Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2009
  • Judges Excellence Award, Blossom - Art of Flowers Competition, 2007
  • First Place, Portrait & Figure Category, The Artist's Magazine, 2006
  • Honorable Mention, Third International Art Salon, Art Renewal Center, 2006
  • Awards Finalist, The Artist's Magazine, 2006
  • Jury's Selection, Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, 2006
  • Awards Finalist, Second International Art Salon, Art Renewal Center, 2005
  • Awards Finalist, The Artist's Magazine, 2002
  • American Society of Portrait Artists 2001
  • Stacey Foundation Grant, 1982
  • Greenshields Foundation Grant, 1975
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