ABOUT THE ARTIST
Peter Nicholas (Nick) Fritsch was born in New York City in 1954. He graduated with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1979. At SVA he studied painting with Herb Katzman, Sylvia Mangold, Don Eddy and Gilbert Stone, and life drawing with John Button. After graduating, he got involved in video production and post production, and in 1988, took over the independent world and classical music label Lyrichord Discs, founded by his father in 1950. At Lyrichord, in addition to his other production work, he produced and created the graphics and photographs for over 150 cd releases, advertisements catalogs and brochures, many of which employed Illustrations done by his wife Lesley Doyel.
In 2014, Fritsch returned to painting, and began studying figure drawing with Robert Cenedella at the Art Students League. He works in his studio in Copake, NY, where he employs the acrylic underpainting/glazing, technique favored by his SVA teacher, illustrator the late Gilbert Stone.
In the mid 80s, Fritsch and his wife attended a show of works by the mid 20th century New York and Woodstock artist, George Ault, and it left an indelible impression in honing his focus as a painter.
“Here was a representational artist who was able to simultaneously distill and convey his personal experience of, and communion with, his external world, as well as invoke a sense of his deep and almost mystical isolation from that world. The experience of the simplest barn, tree, brook or floodlight, is reduced to its most elemental, formal truth - and seen through a lens of nearly sacred isolation inevitably linked to mortality and existence itself. I never forgot it”.
Fritsch is delighted that much of the same kind of vernacular visual vocabulary that was established by many artists of the last century, particularly those working between the wars, such as Ault, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Martin Lewis, Thomas Hart Benton and others, is today being employed in the works of contemporary representational painters such as R. Kenton Nelson, Danny Galieote, Sally Storch and others.
“I don’t view this phenomenon as some derivative or nostalgic return to earlier historical styles. Rather, I think of it as a continuation of the visual dialects grown from a fundamental shared experience that runs through in our collective American DNA.”
Fritsch lives with his wife and daughter in New York City, and spends about half his time upstate. He, Lesley and their dog Munchkin take great joy in nightime walks through the small town of Copake.