Ted Stanuga - Studio

Ted Stanuga

United States 1948

Abstract Art, Painting


Ted Stanuga
Ted Stanuga
United States
September 22, 2015
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Ted Stanuga is an American artist whose painting is gestural abstraction with drawing based in the nature of things.

Stanuga was born and grew up in Chula Vista, less than two miles away from the colorful, Mexican Tijuana, where artists created velvet landscapes they sold along the side of the road. On the other side, in conservative Chula Vista environment, most of its artists derided abstract expressionism as pure nonsense. Between these two dissimilarities, Stanuga nurtured his artistic aspirations.

After graduating from high school and serving in the Marines, Ted attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1973, but did not linger long enough to earn a degree. Instead, he pursued an artistic career on his own terms. Fortunately, Ted studied under the professor Tom Kapsalis who helped Ted to master the craft. When he left the school, Ted went straight to Landfall Press to work with Master Printer Jack Lemon. He mixed colors for the artists, learned about process by watching the artist and his apprentices.

Today, his studio in Garfield Park is a place where he produces oversized canvases, some black and white, some with an almost explosive use of color. B&W series started originally with an idea from Duke Ellington and his Black and Tan Fantasy compositions.

As he says, in his artist’s statement, the larger works are as much about experiencing them while passing in front as they are being viewed frontally. The enveloping size creates its intimacy, Ted believes.
Ted Stanuga’s painting suggests unknown rhythms – introspective gestures direct the viewer through these hallucinatory mindscapes.

As far as for the technique, after the drawing is once done and fixed, Ted begins to work into the charcoal with white or ground color, going through a general simplification process by obliterating lines with light or paint. Once that coat is completed the artist sands it smooth, he also begins to redraw in various shades of the same colors with oil, leaving aspects of previous layers visible.

Stanuga follows and admires few contemporary artists, such as Tom Kapsalis, Justin James Beckman, Chris Roberts, Mike Helbing, Sarah Maple, Lucy Slivinski and Frank Connet. Ted is represented by Matthew Rachman gallery.

Ted Stanuga lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Image copyright © the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015BRINK, Frank Connet, Ted Stanuga, Doug StapletonMatthew Rachman Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2012Ted Stanuga300 South Riverside Plaza, King Art Collective, ChicagoSolo
2012Fractious, Works on PaperSouth Suburban College, Hammond IndSolo
2012BoundariesPark Schreck Gallery, ChicagoSolo
201269th Salon ShowSouth Shore Art Center, Munster IndianaGroup
2011Ted StanugaArtbox, Indianapolis, IndianaSolo
2009Steel and Paint, Two Artist ShowSouth Shore Arts, Munster, IndianaDuo
2007Uncommon GroundCollaborative Installation with Erica HuntzingerDuo
2007The Salon ShowSouth Shore Arts, Munster IndianaGroup
2007ArtropolisMerchandise Mart, Chicago, IllinoisGroup
2006The Transferred ImageA National Print Show, 33Collective, Chicago,IllinoisGroup
2003International Juried Sculpture ExhibitionInternational Exhibition Center The Presidio, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
1999Temporary InstallationA Public Arena 69 West Washington, the Cook County Building AtriumGroup
1992Lanon Cole, Karen Lebergott, Ted Stanuga, Michelle GrabnerLanon ColeGroup
1991Ted Stanuga, Works on PaperLanon ColeSolo
1989One Artist ShowUniversity of Indiana, Gary Indiana, Invited by Neil GoodmanSolo
1986One Artist ShowDart GallerySolo
1984Michiana Regional InvitationalIndiana Center for Contemporary ArtGroup
1984Painting and Sculpture TodayIndianapolis Museum of ArtGroup
1984Chicago HeadRandolph Street GalleryGroup
1983Print BiennialBrooklyn MuseumGroup
1983Dogs!The Museum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoGroup