Christian Eckart

About the Artist

“My artistic project has as its focus an examination of the economies of paradigmatic abstraction in the 20th century. My interest is in the depiction and expression of transcendentalist and spiritualist themes since the beginning of the Renaissance.” -- Christian Eckart, Artist’s Statement, 1995

Christian Eckart was born in 1959, in Calgary, Alberta. He studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design, graduating from the Department of Sculpture in 1984. His works allow the disciplines of  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  and  sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  to rub against each other, or even collide.  This is not surprising, as in 1984 Eckart left Calgary to obtain his Masters Degree in painting from Hunter College in New York. Since that time, he has obtained American (dual) citizenship and has lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and (currently) Houston, Texas. His work is internationally recognized, and his practice very well respected.

CaravaggioEckart’s work makes use of the exhibitionary order of Art History, the traditions governing the framing and display of objects of art, typically paintings. But within this context, he is also providing new ways for us to think about the work of art as an object. After all, he gives us not a  representationalTo stand for; symbolize. To depict or portray subjects a viewer may recognize as having a likeness; the opposite of abstraction. A representation is such a depiction. (Artlex.com)  picture of something, but instead presents us with material, substance, and light. The  BaroqueThe art style or art movement of the Counter-Reformation in the seventeenth century. Although some features appear in Dutch art, the Baroque style was limited mainly to Catholic countries. It is a style in which painters, sculptors, and architects sought emotion, movement, and variety in their works. (Artlex.com)  works he seems to pull inspiration from used similar techniques to his, as artists like Caravaggio placed much of a painting’s meaning in the colours it contained, and their relationships to each other. Eckart does this, too, but without the  representationalTo stand for; symbolize. To depict or portray subjects a viewer may recognize as having a likeness; the opposite of abstraction. A representation is such a depiction. (Artlex.com)   imageryAn image is a picture, idea, or impression of a person, thing, or idea; or a mental picture of a person, thing, or idea. The word imagery refers to a group or body of related images. (Artlex.com)  and associations that clutter the  BaroqueThe art style or art movement of the Counter-Reformation in the seventeenth century. Although some features appear in Dutch art, the Baroque style was limited mainly to Catholic countries. It is a style in which painters, sculptors, and architects sought emotion, movement, and variety in their works. (Artlex.com)  works. Eckart’s use of  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  is, to use a  modernistModernism is an art movement characterized by the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  term, pure.

Spirituality and religious  traditionTradition is the passing along of a culture from generation to generation, especially orally. Or, a custom or set of customs handed down in this way. The idea of heritage is related to that of tradition. Any activity — as a pattern of celebration, ritual, or other behaviour, etc. — is traditional once it is a precedent influencing comparable activities in the future. (Artlex.com)  are also crucial to Eckart’s practice and his work. In an earlier  stageTo exhibit upon a stage, or as upon a stage; to display publicly. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of his career, Eckart went by the name Chris Spindler. He had it changed to the more monastic Christian Eckart due to a belief in numerology, and the hope that the new name would impart a more auspicious art practice. This itself may be read as a spiritual act, as it relies on a belief that a name - which is, after all, only an idea - has a power and importance of its own.


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