Snarling Dog


Koscianski, Leonard
1999.04
Gift of Daryl Gerber Stokols

In an effort to channel his own ferocity Koscianski has built a career as an iconoclastic artist; he is a very civilized man with a highly developed wariness about the potential for violence in both the real world and in the inner world of his imagination. The studio is where he forges a balance between the two. Koscianski first studied art history and architecture. As a student at Cleveland Institute of Art, he was hired by the museum director to paint copies of old masters, an invaluable experience that rescued him from what he calls "the clutches of doctrinaire Modernism." By the time he was in the MFA program in painting at UC Davis, he already knew that his heroes were mainly 19th century artists, including sculptor Alfred Bayre—who famously depicted a jaguar devouring a hare—were among those who fascinated him. While at Davis, Koscianski served as a teaching assistant for the famously good-natured Wayne Thiebaud. Following Thiebaud's lead, he made vague attempts at pop art, but the style didn't suit him. "I made still-life paintings that were strongly influenced by him," he said, "but his were light and humorous while mine were dark and threatening."—Huffington Post, 2011

b. 1952
1988
pastel on paper
American
30 x 42 inches