Gary Kulak

Born 1952

Gary Kulak’s work can be seen throughout the nation. The Smithsonian, The Detroit Institute of Art and The Cranbrook Museum are among the public collectors of his work. Corporate collections containing Kulak art include K-Mart, IBM, Progressive Corporation in Cleveland and Elm Development of Chicago. Since receiving his B.F.A. from Cranbrook Institute and MFA from Hunter College, he has had scores of shows in locations as varied as New York City and Detroit, Florida and Kansas, Chicago and Washington D.C.

Gary frequently brings his wealth of professional experience to the classroom. Students have benefited from his instruction at the University of Toledo, Eastern Michigan University, Plattsburg State and Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Artist Statement

My work spans more than forty years in the field of sculpture and drawing. During this period of time my vision has evolved, embracing cultural differences, socio-economic constructs, and psychological perspectives.

At the center of my sculptural investigations one object spans the entire time frame. The “”chair”” has evolved and transformed meaning relative to time, emotion, and social situations. The chair has given me a frame of reference, an identity, or basis for communication to occur. I have worked with a wide range of construction materials with an emphasis on metal and industrial processes.

I have found ideas in most situations where human contact occurs. However, most ideas develop from significant events involving socio-political situations and scientific observations. We live in a world of ever changing images with increased clarity delivered at increasing rates of speed. We now experience events from around the world in real time with content uncensored and raw. This substance is collected and organized into material creating new thoughts and forms. It is not the representation but the impression that serves as a source for developing ideas. These memories are embedded within the thinking process, extrapolated and cross-referenced creating distinguishing thoughts that make up new images.

I am at the point in my career where the experiences I have gathered are organizing in ways I could not have imagined or understood at an earlier time. I know that what I see is a complex formulation of ideas from different periods of time. It may simply be that I have processed previous experiences, making room for new ideas to emerge or that my thought processes evolved incorporating what I know.

The question of creating presence with absence continues to be an ongoing investigation relative to understanding psychological perspectives. What we don’t see is as important as what we see. I find that by allowing the observer to complete the question of meaning creates a passive approach to participation. Intellectual participation occurs as a direct result of observation. This leads me back to meaning being specific to individual experiences drawn upon individual histories that embrace cultural difference and socio-economic constructs. What is drawn is not a re-presentation of life but a gestalt with symbolic archetypes.

As an artist, I continue to pursue work that diversifies these concepts searching for new forms that expand these investigations and the field of art.

Works in the Park