Modernist Artist, Walter Stomps Jr. (1929-2020)
“My forty-year exploration of abstract forms has been an inner search. The works […] are drawn from my psyche with exuberance and in the spirit of play. However, formalistic choices are never denied. My paintings do not imitate objects but present the essence of both experience and thought. I attempt to create an ideal and to give an experience of enjoyment and comfort. The viewers’ reactions to the rhythm, color, and proportion of non-objective art can be related to the feelings music evokes with its harmonies and dissonances. To further describe my art would defeat its purpose. You can best experience these works if you open yourself to their form and color. They are intended only to give you pleasure. Matisse said:
‘What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair that provides relaxation from physical fatigue.’
I have found inspiration in these words."
Walter Stomps Acrylic Painting "Construction", Late 20th Century
Walter Stomps Monumental Color Field Painting "Naranja", Late 20th Century
Walter Stomps Monumental Abstract Oil Painting "The Ring", 1963
Walter Stomps Abstract Gouache Painting from "Rock Series", 1962
Throughout his career, Stomps. Jr. vigorously produced work in the vein of the American Color Field painters and Abstract Expressionists. The Color Field style emerged in New York after WWII as the pulse of contemporary art shifted away from Paris. The large solid fields of color on a flat plane were inspired by European modernism and reminiscent of abstract expressionism. One calls to mind the work of Frank Stella, Ken Noland, Victor Vasarely, or Kandinsky.
After Stomps, Jr. completed his study at the Art Institute of Chicago (1959), he held teaching posts at the Middletown Fine Arts Center, Dayton Arts Institute, and for over 4 decades at Western Kentucky University.
Stomps, Jr. exhibited at numerous institutions in the Midwest throughout his career, including the Cincinnati Art Museum, Dayton Art Institute, Owensboro Museum of Art, and the J.B. Speed Museum of Art.
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- 1963: Master of Fine Arts (painting), The School of the Art Institue of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- 1962-1963: Graduate Study, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
- 1959: Bachelor of Fine Art (painting), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
*1959: Bachelor of Fine Art (advertising design), Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
- The Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio
- The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
- The Dayton Art Institue, Dayton, Ohio
- The Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, Indiana
- The Firstar Bank, Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
- Western Kentucky Univeristy, Bowling Green, Kentucky