Work Analysis – Adam Holzrichter

Two Distant
Oil on linen.
20.32 cm x 25.4 cm / 24 inches x 24 inches.
Price: $3000 USD.


Commentary from Bruno Passos & Trevor Knapp.

From Bruno Passos:

“Two distant” is one of those paintings that as soon as we catch our eyes, we already know that we are in front of an author. You don’t look at it and think “Oh cool, it looks like a painting by so-and-so” or “Wow, super realistic!”, no sir, great paintings don’t draw comparisons, their qualities are self-contained.

Looking at this painting makes us enter a specific world, of visual rules that we don’t know, but that somehow we believe make sense. In the same way that other great American artists portrayed life through a single optimum, such as John Sloan, Edward Hopper and George Bellows, Adam makes us believe that this is yet another possible and particular world. Its colors are paradoxical, at the same time pastel and refreshing. There’s a lively electricity in the way the brushstrokes dance across the main character’s body, plus Adam’s disregard for the rules of optics is delightful, sometimes putting the saturation higher in the background than in the foreground (as Gauguin once did and as the Japanese did before this one) either arranging the characters as if they were on the same plane despite their clearly different dimensions.

Beyond the technical qualities, what hypnotizes me most about this painting is its ability to make us feel rather than make us think, it is not a game of charades (“what does character A think?” , “why is character B there?”), but of a sensorial expansion that leads us to a fascination “merely” for being in front of the life so pulsating and electric of Adam Holzrichter.

From Trevor Knapp:

I see two paintings in this work by Adam, it’s messing with my eyes! I’m reminded of Van Gogh, even Bonnard, and how they would incorporate a “background” to the character of the scene… how it would inform who the individual was. I see the lovely splendor of energy from the subtle purples and pinks in the lower right flowing upward toward the center with the woman’s silhouette up into the man’s face, then the life of the sky blue into the light reflecting off of the greens and olive color from the leaves resting just behind the man’s right shoulder up behind his head. Then movement back and downward again, thoughts flying up into the sky like the plane (I think I see) just above the woman’s head.

When I see our primary character in the foreground, I see his extremely detailed face with a lightness of expression, yet holding deep concentration. He looks off into the distance, but the woman directly behind him looks directly at us. At first, I feel like she is a painting in the background (given her smaller scale and silhouetted nature) but then I get the sense that she is a memory, a memory in the distance behind him. But even in the space she holds behind him, her piercing gaze brings her right to me… marvelous.

Paintings give us this instinct time and again as a form to escape for a brief instance, and Adam captures this moment of thought beautifully, this thought of melancholic yearning.

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