Embedded in my work are recognizable, form-rendered animals set in a context that is both abstract and formalist. Animals are the perfect non-verbal messenger of a painting's symbolism. They serve as the surrogate for an open narrative, and their mere presence and form plays out a human drama. As a painting's subject, animals make it possible to manage the abstract and visceral response of the viewer. Their behavior can be interpreted in the viewer's own terms.
Animals, my chosen subject for many years, present or camouflage themselves through the pattern in their coat. For me, Holstein cattle provide some of the strongest shape and pattern markings of the Midwestern animal world. This is a big reason why I use them as subject so often. Through their contrasting black and white spattered coat they visually speak in code to our shape and pattern sensibilities.
Craig Blietz lives and works in Northeast Wisconsin. He mines both the formalist and narrative aspects of painting to create his rural and agrarian inspired imagery. Numerous museums have exhibited his work including the Muskegon Art Museum, Charles Allis Art Museum, Elmhurst Art Museum, Wright Museum, West Bend Art Museum, Rahr-West Museum, Miller Art Museum, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and The Fairfield Center for Contemporary Art. Blietz has been the recipient of several awards, such as the Director's Choice Award from the Charles Allis Art Museum and Certificate of Excellence Award from the Portrait Society of America.
Blietz received a BS from The University of Denver. He continued his art and design studies at The Harrington College of Design and finished his formal studies with four years of academic training at The School of Representational Art in Chicago. Blietz studied privately with master draftsman and recognized Chicago figurative artist Fred Berger. Along with Mr. Berger, Blietz studied with recognized Chicago portrait artist Richard Halstead, and also with painter, printmaker, and illustrator John Rush. Several extended trips to the art centers of both Europe and the United States, with the sole purpose being the study of the great masters, has added to Blietz's extensive background and education.
Public and Corporate Collections
Coldwell Banker, Glenview State Bank, Miller Art Museum, NiSource of Indiana, Northwestern University, Peninsula School of Art. and Sprint Corporation