Vicci Sperry was one of the few noted women in the group of great American Abstract Expressionist painters of the mid-20th century who sprung up around and out of their teacher, the acclaimed artist Hans Hofman. She established her own style and a powerful reputation in a group which included such distinct stylists as Hans Hofman and his disciples Willem DeKooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, and Gandy Brodie.
Vicci Sperry and such others as Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler assured that female artists contributed powerfully to shaping American art for the century. As a direct protégée of Hofman, Ms. Sperry was one of the few, perhaps the only, student he allowed to critique his own work, such was his respect for her insights. The special place she attained derived from her profound love of color and her sensitive consciousness of the spiritual aspect of art, the soul which provides each artist’s inspiration.
Her articulate and poetic capture of this underlying aspect of artistic creation has lived on as powerfully as her paintings, and many artists have no doubt studied them to come to understand what drives their own work. In her quiet and deeply piercing observation, one discovers a spiritual understanding of art very much akin to the perceptions of Asian contemplative philosophy.
Some of her inspirational writing includes:
“Space, being alive… it has no vacuums and no static area. Whatever we put into space reflects this aliveness and reveals the responding aliveness of the total space.”
“Be calm and allow the true self to blossom. The inner self comes forth with patience and gentleness.”
“Nature does not hold back. With sublime opulence, she gives us blue skies, azure waters, brilliantly colored flowers, birds and other creations, with infinite variations.”
“Within the unlimited oneness, each element is related to the whole and related to every other element.”
“Space moves with a great rhythm in every direction. Space pours down, lifts up, moves backwards and forwards and flows with the grace of great curved movements.”
The work of Vicci Sperry proudly adorns many of the most respected collections and has been exhibited over eight decades in leading museums, galleries and universities and art institutes. During the 1960s, she took a step back from exhibiting her painting to concentrate on writing and lecturing, such was the art community’s appetite for her profound insights. This fertile period resulted in the honored book, “The Art Experience.” Noted critics and leading scholars used and still use the Sperry book as source material for advanced writing and art classes.