Larry Spaid: Journeys - The Mekong River Paintings

A 20 year retrospective: 1995-2015

On view from February 6, 2015 to February 28, 2015.

Larry Spaid began this journey many decades ago as a soldier in the Vietnam/American War. His paintings reflect on memories of that time's deadliness while being coupled with more recent experiences in Southeast Asia that focused on the region's visual seductiveness.

He graduated from the John Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, IN in 1969 and began an MFA program as a graduate fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

Upon the completion of his first semester he was drafted into the US Army for two years of active service (1969-71); subsequently, he completed his graduate degree in 1973 and was hired by the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, where he taught for 36 years including periods in Rome, Italy and Tokyo, Japan. He was awarded Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2010.

Larry Spaid has spent approximately twelve years of his adult life working, living and traveling outside of the United States with extensive experiences in Mexico, Central America, Asia, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and Europe. Sabbaticals and grant awards from Temple University allowed him to backpack through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, accumulating drawing-journal information that pertained to traditional crafts/structures, utilitarian devices, objects of ritual, and various environmental aspects. In turn, these observations became the sources for his decisions about color, shape, pattern, texture and atmospheric light in the paintings he then completed in Philadelphia.

He has this to say about his work:

“There is no hidden message. I am a painter with a deep respect for Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. I attempt to create formal and technical situations that are objects as well as fields of illusion—a direction that has led my work to become as equally involved with symbolic shape and color as it is with technical investigation.”

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