I see art as a series of visual problems asking to be defined and not necessarily to be solved; in simplest terms, how much is enough, when is it done, is more needed, another color, another line, what should that color be, how thin, how thick, how many, how much, how flat, how full, is this artwork about the edge or the center and when is it finished. As I work I am making what seem to be a thousand million decisions while trusting my hand, eye and years of experience. I am always looking at the work of other artists for two big reasons, for the sheer joy of it and to see how other artists are defining their visual problems. I am in constant dialogue with the work of other artists. I stand on the shoulders of giants.
My function as an artist is not to tell the truth—it is to captivate viewers for as long as I can hold their attention. It is not necessary for the artwork to be any more than what it is. What is necessary is for the art to flow from inside and to allow the paintings and drawings to spring from my entire set of experiences and sensibilities as an artist.
My current favorite giants, to name just the women, are Agnes Martin and Joan Mitchell for the purity of their thought and action on the canvas; Linda Karshan, Sandra Blow, Vija Celmins, and Katherina Grosse. Whether what they do is lyrical, expository or just plain brash to my way of thinking they are all pure abstract expressionists who make marks, lines, shapes, colors on paper, canvas, even buildings, and say to us, “here look at this, make of it what you will.”
Nancy Charak is an affiliate member of the ARC Gallery & Educational Foundation, of Chicago, Illinois, one of the oldest women's art cooperatives in the country. Her art has been exhibited in Edinburgh, Scotland, New York City and traveled with the Poetic Dialogue project to the University of Wisconsin at Waukesha and the H.F. Johnson Gallery at Carthage College. Nancy's art was featured in the January 08 issue of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, edited by Maurice Oliver, and interviewed about her thoughts about art and drawing for ArtStyle Blog.
Nancy Charak is a native Chicagoan who studied photography and design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and painting and drawing at Northern Illinois University for an M.F.A. Her work has been shown in several significant juried exhibitions.
Nancy works in a studio in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Her work is in several corporate and private collections throughout the Midwest, Cleveland, the Chicago area and the Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast of Saugatuck, Michigan.