Fresh from her international debut, attorney Gayle Printz paints in a style compared to abstract expressionists Joan Mitchell, Hans Hofmann, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, known for their use of color, layering and “dripping.”
Inspired to bring beauty back into her world, Printz began painting during the COVID-19 crisis. In July, she submitted two paintings, “Pond” and “First,” to Musée de Peinture de Saint-Frajou in Paris for entry in the juried International Art Resilience Exhibition.
The museum stated the exhibition’s purpose and selection of artwork was “to present works characterizing the rigor in a search for artistic quality, creativity and technical mastery.” Both paintings Printz submitted were accepted and were exhibited for a month in Salon 6 of the museum. The online presentation remains in the museum’s permanent archives.
Printz, formerly with Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy, said, “Painting brought me back to life during isolation. It never even occurred to me to paint before May. When something calls to me, I tend to answer with determination. Even I was surprised when, three months later, I had two paintings on display in Paris.”
Interior designer Bridgette Boylan also expressed amazement. “When Gayle began painting, it was unbelievable that it all came so naturally to her. Every time I look at her paintings, I notice something I hadn’t seen before. She knows how to combine beauty with a deeper meaning, which is left to the viewer to assign based on their own imagination and experiences. She doesn’t tell you what you should be thinking.”
Printz often paints outside by her idyllic pool, reminiscent of a European villa, with her golden retriever, Harley, nearby.
Take the tour.
Jaffe: Share your technique.
Printz: I use color, three-dimensionality and distinct brushwork, rather than tangible structures, as tools of expression. While inviting the spectator to establish an intimate connection with my work, I try to challenge them to search for personal meaning through a subconscious journey.
Using acrylic on canvas, I layer colors and textures, including sand, gels, tar, glass beads, metallics, glazes, and crackling. From different angles, viewers will see different things in the same painting: faces, animals, landscapes and even unclothed bodies. I leave it to them to decide and, because of that, I tend to keep my titles nondescript: “Totem,” “Bird,” “Iridescence,” “Control,” “Blur,” “Picnic,” “Metallic,” “Second,” for example. Prices range from $700 to $19,900.
Jaffe: How did you discover the international exhibition?
Printz: While investigating how to archive my collection, I noticed a “call for artists” requesting applications to enter the juried International Art Resilience Exhibition in Paris. Thinking the exhibition was about resilience during COVID, I sent two photographs of my work. The next day, I was informed both pieces were accepted and would be on exhibit for a month at the museum and online.
As it turned out, the exhibition was not related to COVID at all. Art Resilience is an established international art movement, representing mastery of the synchronicity between beauty and universal meaning. Worldwide, only 69 artists, including eight American painters, were selected to present their work. So, for me, this whole experience can only be described as “serendipitous.”
Jaffe: Have you continued the relationship?
Printz: Yes. I currently work with Ksenia Milicevic, founder of Musée de Peinture de Saint-Frajou and co-founder of the international Art Resilience movement. Ksenia, a world-famous artist, took me under her wing and has become my mentor. Though our styles differ, I send her photographs of works-in-progress, and Ksenia gives me detailed technical direction. The time she has spent critiquing my work has already taught me how to invite the viewer into the painting and keep them there. She’s incredibly attentive; we communicate several times a day. Her instruction has been invaluable.
Jaffe: Who are some artists you collect?
Printz: Much of our original artwork is by Jewish immigrants:
Peter Max (née Finkelstein), famous for 1960s “Yellow Submarine,” “American flag” and “Statue of Liberty” paintings. Raphael Soyer, Russian born son of a Hebrew scholar, paints American scenes; Anatole Krasnyansky, whose family fled Kiev, paints abstracts and cityscapes; Itzchak Tarkay, a modern Israeli figurative painter, famous for his “Parlor Ladies;” and Emile Dekel, who created “The Congregation,” a three-dimensional Judaic rendering in lucite.
We also have “Dance Suite: I, II, III & IV” by Jurgen Gorg and a collection of Hanna-Barbera hand-drawn cartoon cels: the Flintstones, Jetsons, Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.
Jaffe: What is your husband Steven’s role?
Printz: Steven, an attorney and CEO of ColorChem International, is also a fantastic photographer. He’s been kind enough to photograph my work with his Nikon Z7. We have a wall filled with his photographs of our travels. He was particularly taken with the animals in Africa and everything about Antarctica.
Jaffe: You plan to work with Jewish organizations?
Printz: Steven and I are committed supporters of Israel Bonds, an organization, we believe, secures our future. We are charter members of the U.S. Holocaust Museum and strongly support many major Jewish charities. As for my artwork, Chabad of Atlanta offered to do a solo exhibition, but I’m holding off because of COVID. I do hope to donate paintings to Jewish organizations here and abroad.
Jaffe: What’s next?
Printz: I will continue painting and hope to share the beauty. I have over 30 paintings here. Since mid-August, I sold several other pieces privately to collectors and another eight through my website at www.GaylePrintz.com.
Though I have also been answering emails from museums, including Atlanta’s High Museum and D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, which have requested photographs to consider for their permanent exhibits, in reality, I paint all the time when I’m home. And, since May, I’ve been home an awful lot!
Access the Paris museum’s online exhibition at www.art-resilience.com/6-salon-international-art-r%C3%A9silience/
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Gayle Printz
- Joan Mitchell
- Hans Hofmann
- Helen Frankenhatler
- Lee Krasner
- Jackson Pollock
- Musée de Peinture de Saint-Frajou
- International Art Resilience Exhibition
- Frazer & Murphy
- Bridgette Boylan
- Ksenia Milicevic
- Jewish immigrants
- Peter Max
- Raphael Soyer
- Anatole Krasnyansky
- Itzchak Tarkay
- Emile Dekel
- Jurgen Gorg
- ColorChem International
- High Museum of Art
- National Gallery of Art