Theodore Jeremenko, Yugoslavian/American (1938 - )

Theodore Jeremenko

Ted Jeremenko was born in Yugoslavia in 1938, and he and his family moved to Philadelphia in 1950. A thwarted architect who was following a successful career in business, he began pursuing his life-long interests in both art and architecture in 1971, after a trip to East Hampton, New York. The silkscreens of Ted Jeremenko combine Old World sensibilities with nostalgic interest in early American architecture to create a fresh, unique idiom. The architecture of eastern Long Island gave Jeremenko the inspiration to paint imaginary villagescapes that exist out of time and are removed from specific place. Jeremenko's style is influenced by the tradition of American folk art yet is transformed into contemporary motifs. His goal is to create images that have a dreamlike quality that celebrates the idealization of simple values yet has a haunting, lingering presence.

Ted's frequent subject matter, including lighthouses, barns, cottages and village scenes, reflect a passion for simplistic, elegant architecture that derives its strength from the environment around it. From years of preserving houses on the coast of Long Island, he has developed and nurtured a sense of craftsmanship that is related in the details of his paintings, from the gentle curve on the top of a window frame, to the symmetry and stature of a beacon light in a distant lighthouse.

In Ted's paintings, man made structures always work within the context of the natural scene. "I try to use color," Ted says, "to define light and form." In a personal and sophisticated way, subtle changes in his palette create the differing seasons, as well as the nebulous time between the seasons. From sunsets to sunrises, calm clear moonlit evenings to foreboding skies, we respond on an emotional level to a moment captured in eternity.

Perhaps the most beautiful element in Ted's work is his treatment of foliage. By using a full range of hues and complimentary colors, his trees, bushes, and grass acquire a depth that is very painterly, yet precise in its drawing. Again the sense of seasonal change is achieved by the merest shift in his palette, like the brilliance of warm red leaves forecasting the change from summer to autumn.

Ted came from Yugoslavia to America when he was twelve years old, growing up in Philadelphia. In his mid-twenties, he moved to New York City, beginning a successful career in the computer and banking industries, but starting in any free time to paint. In the grand tradition of many important American artists, he was completely self taught. "I paint primarily for myself", Ted says, "but it is very gratifying to know that my artwork touches other people." Following a tremendous reaction at the first exhibition of his paintings, he decided to devote more of his energies to his painting.

His artwork quickly gained a national audience, and its attending success allowed him to settle in the East Hampton area of Long island, to dedicate his full attention to his paintings. Since the mid 1980's, he has developed a relationship with Chamelon Editions, a fine art aterlier near New York City. Together, they have created serigraphs of extraordinary beauty. By refining a hand dome printing craft, Ted has been able to achieve prints that are a perfect complement to his paintings, creating images that attain his vision of capturing the beauty of nature.


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