(American, 1926 - 2014)
George Vranesh’s career spanned more than six decades, creating a body of work that chronicled his evolving aesthetic tastes from the American post-war period to his death in 2014. Shortly after completing his master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Iowa, Vranesh enrolled at the Art Students League of New York City in the mid-1950s. There he studied under Will Barnet, who encouraged him to broaden his knowledge of art history and modernist theories. He studied printmaking under Arnold Singer at the Pratt Institute Annex and audited art history classes at the New School in New York City. This exposure to the principals of modernism and art history inspired Vranesh to experiment with his work, persistently reworking compositions and color combinations, at times revisiting them for several years until he was satisfied. Vranesh categorized his process of creating and revising as “correction” if something in the painting didn’t work or read easily, and “causation” when making changes of colors and shapes.
Vranesh was born in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1926 and served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946. The years following his discharge were spent as an anthropology student and working odd jobs. During the summers between 1959 to 1965, he worked onboard a salmon cannery ship which traveled from Seattle, Washington to the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea. He later published, Alaskan Horizons, a catalog of sketches, photos, notes and drawings based on his travels. These sketchbooks provided Vranesh with the resource materials and direction for the Alaskan Horizon works created throughout the 1960s—a series of original paintings capturing his tour of the Alaskan landscape.