Crossing a Major Threshold: Jason Karolak at McKenzie Fine Art Inc.

Jason Karolak, Painting, SAIC

Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 86 x 76″

Jason Karolak, Painting, SAIC

Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 90 x 79″

Jason Karolak 3 Jason Karolak 4 Jason Karolak 5

I met Jason Karolak at Pratt Institute in the mid-90’s when he was an undergraduate painter
and I was taking part-time classes
about three years
after I received
my BA.

I didn’t know him well, but hung with him just long enough so when he came up to me at a SAIC alumni function at the Sculpture Center this past February,
I had a vague recollection of his undergraduate paintings that were big and grand
and filled with many unanswered questions
and hard-won struggles.

He told me he recently graduated from SAIC with a MFA in painting and that he had a solo show at McKenzie Fine Art.
When I went to the show, I was impressed with not only how far he had come from his undergraduate days,
but also with how much I related to his quiet, methodical thinking that is evident in his mark making
and in how he handles going from a smaller to a larger scale. I also admired his skill with color,
which is something that is beyond my present ability to produce.

In addition, he has crossed a major threshold that stops many MFA recipients: He has managed to continue making work after graduation
and to have a professional show in New York City.
This, in itself, is a profound accomplishment.
I hope he continues to continue.

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