Sunday, April 1, 2018

Paintings by Charles Gniech acquired for the Fine Art Collection of Purdue University

Charles Gniech "Inner Circle" 1996, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60"

Purdue University - Northwest/NorthCentral in Westville, Indiana—has recently acquired a number of my large-scale paintings for their eclectic and edgy contemporary Fine Art Collection. Eight canvases were chosen from three bodies of work—spanning more than twenty years. Five of the selected pieces come from the “Sanctuary” series of 1996-97.

There are more than four hundred stone circles found throughout Great Britain. The Sanctuary series was inspired by my time spent exploring some of these monuments. The prehistoric structures became a bit of an obsession during that period of my life. I would travel to the UK two or three times each year... spend a few days in London and then hop a train to—what seemed like—the middle of nowhere. Some of the sites were relatively easy to come upon while others were so far removed from civilization that I would find myself on top of a mountain or in a secluded meadow, only to be visited by an occasional herd of sheep. There was a feeling of peace and tranquility at many of these locations—something more than the power of the beautiful surroundings on which the structures were erected. The body of work titled "Sanctuary" was the result of these experiences. And the people that I met were life changing.

I define the paintings produced during the late 90s as “Structural Abstraction.” Although I would render realistic depictions of the structures on location, they were reinterpreted in my studio with exaggerated angles and dramatic lighting. The monuments were translated through planar analysis resulting in faceted structures of mass within dramatic landscapes.

Charles Gniech "Geometric Sarsens" 1996, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48" 

As of April 2018, the “Sanctuary” paintings will be presented at Purdue University - Northwest /North Central Campus’ in Westville, Indiana. The collection can be seen scattered throughout the two campuses. I’ve been told that the presentation looks nothing like a typical “Corporate Fine Art Collection.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

ZIA Gallery celebrates its first anniversary

In Winnetka—on Chicago's Northshore—there is a wonderful storefront gallery that opened its doors about a year ago. Marking this anniversary, ZIA Gallery will be presenting an exhibition comprised of the ZIA Gallery Artists. The work ranges from the self-analytical photography of Maggie Meiners, and the hyper-real bridge paintings of Roland Kulla to the highly conceptual, meditative surface paintings, which I’ve been producing for the past two decades. The Reception for this group exhibition will take place on Friday, July 29 from 5-7:30pm. Information follows… I hope that you’re able to attend.

ZIA|Gallery celebrates its first anniversary
with a Group Exhibition showcasing all of its artists.

The creative impulse is fundamental to being human. Compelling art engages the mind and spirit. From an intuitive process to a deliberate, analytical approach and every combination in between, ZIA’s artists bring their diverse expressions to life. Come see the strength and individuality inherent in their artwork.

The exhibition includes work by: Mary Burke, Clyde Butcher, Michael Cutlip, Marc Dimov, Rick Dula, Holly Farrell, Charles Gniech, Karina Noel Hean, Anne Hughes, Bob Krist, Deanna Krueger, Roland Kulla, Maggie Meiners, Julie Meridian, Josh Moulton, John Musgrove, Matt Schofield, John Vlahakis, Kathy Weaver, Carl Wilen, and Beverly Zawitkoski

The public is invited to attend the opening reception July 29, 5–7:30. A number of our artists will be in attendance pleased to welcome you and answer any questions while you take in their works and enjoy a beverage and delicious, appetizers. The exhibition runs Friday, July 29 through August 31, 2011.

Group Exhibition of ZIA|Gallery Artists
Opening Reception: July 29, 5pm - 7:30pm.

ZIA Gallery
548 Chestnut St. Winnetka, IL 60093

Image: Charles Gniech, Meditation II, 48 x 36"

Friday, April 22, 2011

George Billis Gallery at Art Chicago

April 29 - May 2, 2011, Opening Preview April 28
The Merchandise Mart, 12th Floor

The George Billis Gallery [New York and LA] will be representing my work, this year, at Art Chicago. Art Chicago, the annual international fair of contemporary and modern art, brings together the world's leading emerging and established galleries. Art Chicago offers curators, collectors, artists and art enthusiasts a comprehensive survey of current and historic work, from cutting-edge to modern masters in a wide variety of media including: painting, photography, drawings, prints, sculpture, video and special installations.

The show runs through Monday, May 2. Tickets are valid for Art Chicago, NEXT, and the Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair. Adults: $20 daily or $25 multi-day pass... Seniors, Students or Groups: $15 multi-day pass, Children 12 and under are free. It's an amazing event... wear comfortable shoes!

Image: Charles Gniech, "Quiet Surface I", 24" x 24", acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sheridan Road ~ ZIA Gallery

It’s always nice to receive recognition for the work you create as an artist. About a month ago, Maggie Meiners, Deanna Krueger and myself met with writer, Laura M. Browning and photographer, Jim Prisching at the ZIA gallery to discus our upcoming exhibition. Browning and Prisching work for Sheridan Road Magazine and were meeting with us to learn about “Reflections” the three-person exhibition presented at ZIA Gallery through March 19th.

The wonderfully written single-page article—complete with color images—gives a little insight into our individual bodies of work and concludes by pointing out that each of us is actually just attempting to find peace within the chaos of modern life. Browning concludes the article by pointing out, “…Each artist’s work is about fragmentation and about reflection, about giving something back to its audience.” The article is beautifully written and the portrait by Prisching is wonderful. Images from the exhibition are available at

Saturday, February 12, 2011

ZIA Gallery ~ The Missed Reception

It’s highly unusual that I don’t make it to the opening reception of a local exhibition that includes my own work. In fact, I think that this was a first.

Last Friday, ZIA Gallery in Winnetka, opened a three-person exhibition titled “Reflections”, which presented my acrylic paintings along side of the photographic imagery of Maggie Meiners and the mixed media pieces of Deanna Krueger. Painfully, a respiratory infection kept me in bed. Feeling miserable, I knew that there was no way to attend the event. Waiting until the last minute—hoping that I might feel better, I made a call to the gallery and my apologetic words came out sounding a bit like a toad… they understood.

The following day, I received a few calls from supporters concerned at my absence. I was told that the reception was well attended and that the exhibition looked great. So today—a week later and feeling a bit better—I headed up to ZIA Gallery to experience the show for myself. I was pleased. Anne Hough, the Gallery Manager, did a wonderful job presenting the work. We chatted for a bit and discussed the variety of press that the show received. I’ll be sharing some of that in future posts.

If you have an opportunity to head up to the north shore of Chicago, visit ZIA Gallery at 548 Chestnut. The show continues through March 19th.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Art of Human Rights - Save the Date

On February 25, 2011 the Junior Board of Heartland Alliance, will host "The Art of Human Rights" (formerly Art Against AIDS), at the Gruen Galleries, located in the heart of Chicago's River North gallery district at 226 West Superior. The event will feature live and silent fine art auctions. This after-work cocktail party boasts a variety of mediums by artists from all over the country. Above is the piece I donated this year. It is a mixed media piece titled "Monument 2" from 1992. It measures 5.5 inches square and is framed roughly 16 x 22.

Proceeds from the event will help Heartland Alliance provide housing, healthcare, economic security, and legal protections services to more than 200,000 people whose lives are threatened by poverty and danger, including those living with HIV/AIDS.

You can find more information on the event at:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Zia Gallery February 4 - March 19

Earlier, this fall, I was asked to join the Zia Gallery in Winnetka. The gallery—located at 548 Chestnut—is managed by Anne Hughes. Last week, Hughes organized a photo-shoot with local press for our upcoming three-person exhibition with the working titled, "Meditative Reflection" or simply, "Reflection". A segment from the press release follows.

From February 4 - March 19, 2011, ZIA Gallery will be featuring a three-person exhibition of works by Charles Gniech, Deanna Krueger, and Maggie Meiners. Each artist employs a different process and medium to develop bodies of work which involve reflection. Meiners' photographs depict direct, symbolic constructs of self, while Gniech uses both the process of painting and his abstracted interpretations of previously human-interpreted natural forms to evoke meditation. Deanna Krueger combines a high-tech, medical diagnostic film with a hands-on, seemingly crude manipulation of materials to arrive at a sophisticated, shimmering reconstruction.

Opening Reception: Friday, February 4, 5-7:30pm.

ZIA Gallery is located at 548 Chestnut Street in Winnetka, Illinois. Additional information regarding this and other upcoming exhibitions can be found at: The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10-5.