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Apokalupsis: An Uncovering: The Artwork of Joseph H. Sulkowski

March 1 - April 28

Joseph H. Sulkowski, Earth Element, 2017. Mixed media on paper. Collection of Mr. Cal Turner, Jr. Courtesy of the artist.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Joseph H. Sulkowski began his formal studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before moving on to the Art Students League in New York City, where he studied from 1974 until 1979.  

His time at the League led to an apprenticeship with master painter Frank Mason, who became his mentor. Mason, who taught at the League for more than fifty years, was an authority on seventeenth-century Flemish and Italian painting techniques, which he passed on to his apprentice. Like Mason, Sulkowski became a painter in the realist style and over the years of his long and successful career has become particularly famous for his dog portraits and sporting scenes. He has a serious following among collectors across the world for his masterful paintings of dogs.

The highlight of the present exhibition is without doubt his monumental Apokalupsis, a mural-sized painting—eight feet high and nearly thirteen feet wide—that is the product of a lifetime of personal reflection and the artist’s contemplation of the very meaning of human existence. Years of observation of canine behavior spoke to him of our human condition. He saw dogs as a metaphor for humanity and the landscape they inhabit as a symbol for the time and space humans negotiate in their daily lives. This monumental composition contains references to the seven deadly sins, the five senses, the four elements, and the Three Graces, bringing to life the ideas and concepts that influence our relationships and awareness of one another, the planet we inhabit, and the larger universe.

As he has noted, “I have put everything I have come to know and experience about life and living on a grand canvas in allegorical form. We, as human beings, have always enjoyed hearing stories. An allegorical approach seemed to me the most appropriate way to express the story of what I have discovered to be fundamental truths of human existence: all of life is connected; All is One. You might say that this project has been 50 years in the making on one hand, but it actually began in my sketchbooks at least 15 years ago.”

Joseph Sulkowski’s work is represented in corporate, public, and private collections around the world.


March 1
April 28
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Morris Museum of Art
1 Tenth Street
Augusta, GA 30901 United States
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