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Biography

 

With an expressive voice that reawakens our response to the human figure in moving and psychologically resonant ways, Stojak is noted for exploring the convergences between the corporeal and the ethereal in the context of the female form.  Within the liminal space between identity and anonymity she presents alluring emanations veiled in mystery that invite a personal search for meaning.  

 

Stojak imbues her paintings with rich atmosphere and pathos. Some of her figures hover like ghosts, receding into smoky, sensuous darkness, while others are grounded in thick, lugubrious outlines that link firmly with their backgrounds. Close observation of her surfaces of apparently monochromatic color reveals an incredible range of tonality and finely graded hue. Stojak’s layered canvases of deeply textured palette-knife applied oil paint are often dark, pasty or wet-looking, recalling the consistency of wiped mud or paint boiled down into tar.  “Linda Stojak delights in the materiality of the oil,” writes art critic Michaël Amy, “a fluid medium allowing her to conjure bodies flipping back and forth between paint and the illusion of almost intangible flesh.” 

 

Rather than rooting her figures in detail, Stojak is interested in essential lines and the suggestion of volume and atmosphere. Her careful use of high-keyed color is dramatic in its restraint: reds jolting out from black and gray, or gentle, dreamlike environments of blue. These figures read not as individuals but instead as timeless specters of humanity and femininity, their facial specificity obscured. Referring to both past and present, Stojak’s women are clothed in period dress and formal wear, the fabric itself sometimes unraveling to suggest impermanence, perhaps, or even the effects of time itself upon the body. Though Stojak’s forms may verge on the diaphanous, the sense of presence in her paintings is nevertheless boldly seized.  That presence is one that pushes past darkness and the dissolve of line; these figures play a part as symbols of redemption and connection in the face of their apparent isolation.  The figures are solitary, alone, but not lonely. She says, “My hope is for my work to help people accept the emotions in themselves.”

 

Stojak, recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, has been reviewed by Art in America and The New York Times.   Edward Leffingwell of Art in America wrote of her work, “There is something hard-won about these anxiously drawn, oddly romantic figures that in their tense grace recall the drawings of Giacometti and Rothenburg.”  With a master’s degree from Pratt University, Stojak’s acclaimed painting is included in prominent public and museum collections across the country.



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