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Daniel Chard
Alloway Township, NJ

Artwork Details
Lancaster Vista


Daniel Chard entered the University of South Dakota in 1956 to study engineering, but switched to art in his junior year and graduated with a BFA.  He earned his MA from Northern State University in South Dakota, and an Ed. D from Columbia University in New York City.  Chard returned to New Jersey, where he taught art in public schools for six years. He joined the faculty of Glassboro State College in 1968 (renamed Rowan University in 1997), teaching painting and color theory.  He wrote Landscape Illusion: A Spatial Approach to Painting in 1987.

Chard is particularly noted for his meticulously detailed views of rural southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Early in his career he experimented with expressionism, color-field painting, and geometric abstraction, but later developed a highly personal form of Photo-Realism.  Chard began to paint with the aid of his own color snapshots. Within two years he had begun to produce a series of rural views.  He employed an unusual working procedure for these landscapes by combining acrylic paint with watercolor and applying the mixture to 300-pound rag watercolor paper that had been water-soaked and then stapled to a board to achieve maximum flatness. According to a colleague, he would paint “transparent layer over transparent layer…Evident brushstrokes are avoided because they call too much attention to the act of painting and also tend to obliterate detail. The final illusion is the result of accumulated layers of thinned paint with tonal contrasts playing a more dominant role than hue.”  Chard consistently uses an exaggerated horizontal format as a means to convey the infinite panoramic expansiveness of the landscapes he paints. He avoids including people and animals in his compositions because he feels they would be a distraction from the scene at hand.

His latest work consists of imaginary landscapes, of which he states, “During the past ten years I have been experimenting with color and pattern in landscape imagery…Departing from traditional through-the-window-realism, recent paintings present imagined landscapes…The image is developed with consideration of the landscape illusion and the graphic space, many of the lines and shapes belonging to the picture plane at least as much as they belong to the realistic space.  The resulting mix of two-dimensional and three-dimensional elements is the basis for much of the visual effect…I have always been interested in painting constructed around the dynamics of the picture plane.  At every stage of the painting process; fields, patterns, roads and architecture are reconsidered for the larger context.  In the end, the imagery is largely about relationships in graphic space compounded by illusions of dimensional landscape space. These landscapes are a direction or path for my visual thinking…I allow each painting to complete itself, suggesting its own possibilities in the painting process.   I am intrigued by the notion that the paintings are somewhat beyond my grasp.  It is the irrational character of the work that keeps me interested.  Intuition and imagination guide me through the development of each image.  At this point, the painting process requires more faith than understanding.”

Chard has been a featured artist in numerous solo exhibitions, the first of which occurred at the OK Harris Works of Art in New York in 1980.  Since then, his work has been featured in over five other solo exhibitions at the gallery, as well as in single-artist showings in Boston, Pittsburgh, Miami, Arizona and Tulsa.  His work has been also featured at group exhibitions at major universities, including Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern University, and University of New Hampshire and at galleries in major cities throughout the United States. A few of the twenty-eight selected collections that contain his work include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, United States Department of State in Washington D.C., Ray Stark Productions in Burbank, CA, Bank of Boston in Boston, MA, NASA, Malcolm Forbes in NYC, and Arthur Anderson and Co. of Boston, MA.