Edward Marecak
Starlight Star Bright
circa 1950

Buyer Protection Guaranteed


Housed in a custom frame, outer dimensions measure 38 ¼ x 26 ¼ x 2 ¼ inches. Image size is 36 ¼ x 24 inches.

Complimentary delivery via messenger is available within the Denver and Boulder metro areas as well as other select locations within Colorado. Contact us for full details.

About the artist:
Many who took art classes in Denver high schools fondly remember the legendary Edward Marecak. Rather than pursue fame, this prolific artist directed his zeal toward fostering younger generations in the principles of art as well as his simple philosophies. Moreover, his teaching salary allowed him to ply his prodigious talent at whatever he pleased, instead of bending to the dictates of trends and sales. Having inherited his faith in education from his Slovakian immigrant parents, Marecak could add the shaping of lives to his mastery of art forms, including lithographs, monoprints, drawings, hooked rugs, ceramics, paintings, wood sculptures, stained-glass windows, and jewelry. While exhibiting in his lifetime, he was, in his wife’s words, “his own greatest collector,” but recent shows and his popularity at the Kirkland Museum have positioned Marecak posthumously among Colorado’s preeminent modernists.

Growing up in the farming community of Brunswick, Ohio, he showed early artistic promise, hired by the National Youth Adminstration to document historic barns. Study began in earnest at the Cleveland Institute of Art and then Cranbrook, only to be interrupted by service in World War II as an Army ski trooper in the Aleutians where he was badly wounded. In 1946, Marecak came to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center for a year and after a semester interlude at Cranbrook returned to study lithography with Lawrence Barrett. There he also met his future wife and sometime collaborator, ceramicist Theresa Madonna (Donna) Fortin. Given the opportunity to teach a summer course at the University of Colorado, he decided to obtain a teaching certificate at the University of Denver and subsequently embarked on his twenty-five-year career in the Denver Public School system.

As a child, Marecak was enthralled by the Carpathian tales of magic and supernatural beings told by his grandmother. As with other artists with roots in Eastern Europe, his artistic turn to folk tradition would free him from learned practices of perspective and modeling in favor of flat patterns within patterns and brilliant, throbbing color. While others ventured further into abstraction, Marecak stylized figurative elements into crowded compositions that appeared like mosaic or stained glass. As he matured, he could declare, “I am still very much a Byzantine designer and my joy with what color can do grows all the time.” The traceries of strong outlines and bold shapes provide compartments for vibrant colors, contrasts, and rough textures that can scarcely be contained.

Red is the dominant color of his palette. As in Eastern European folk art, it embodies the life-giving force of blood as well as love and passion. If as his wife suspects, Marecak never forgot the brutal cold of the Aleutians, perhaps the blaze of red that distinguishes his artwork may have been a steady fire. Traveling to Colorado for her fashion show in 1966, designer Adele Simpson discovered and bought Marecak’s work, which influenced her next clothing line. Calling her collection “The Art of Living,” she incorporated his ethnic patterning and characteristic “Marecak red” and green, anticipating hippie couture of the late 60s.

Gaining national attention, Marecak was spotted by Hollywood producer Hugh Benson, who sponsored a show off 220 works at Martin Lowitz Gallery, Beverly Hills, in 1968. Bemused by the experience, the artist wrote, “…the scale and style of the production was so wonderfully operatic that I came away delighted and full of chuckles — pink plastic flamingos had nothing on this.” Later his amusement turned to disenchantment, when the gallery owner died and the Marecak’s works were included in the IRS seizure of property. The artist largely withdrew from exhibiting, with a show near the time of his death at Rule Gallery. In his last requests, he asked that his ashes be strewn in his garden around a big peace rose, a variety so-named at the end of WWII and appropriately displaying a golden yellow edged with crimson pink.
Upon closing his Inkfish Gallery in 1997, Paul Hughes, who had previously given Marecak a one-man show, chose to go out with what critic Michael Paglia called a “blaze of glory,” showing the deceased artist work. The Kirkland Museum staged a retrospective of Edward and Donna Marecak in 2007.

©David Cook Galleries, LLC

Expedited and International Shipping is available; please contact us for an estimate.


  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    38.25 in. H x 26.25 in. W x 2.25 in. D
  • Seller Location
    Denver, CO
  • Reference Number
About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2013

Typical response time: 10 hours

Located in Denver, CO

More from this Seller

Edward Marecak The Argument, 1966
The Argument
Edward Marecak
Oil Paint
Presented in a custom frame, outer dimensions measure 31 ¼ x 47 ¼ x 2 ¼ inches. Image size is 29 ¾ x 45 ¾ inches. Provenance: Estate of Edward Marecak About the artist: Many who took ...
Nancy Harris Ocrant Untitled Abstract, circa 1955
Untitled Abstract
Nancy Harris Ocrant
Oil Paint, Board
Mid-Century modern abstract painting housed in a custom float frame, outer dimensions measure 20 ¼ x 36 ¼ inches. Image size is 18 ¼ x 34 ¼ inches. A native of Buffalo, New York, Nanc...
Sara Lindemuth Uffelman Rancho de Taos (New Mexico), 1954
Rancho de Taos (New Mexico)
Sara Lindemuth Uffelman
Oil Paint
Housed in a custom frame, outer dimensions measure 23 ¼ x 27 ¼ x 1 ½ inches. Image size is 16 ¼ x 20 inches. Born in Calcutta, India, Sara Uffelman relocated to the United States with...
Margo Hoff Motorcycle Lights, 1965
Motorcycle Lights
Margo Hoff
Canvas, Acrylic Paint
Acrylic on canvas. Housed in a custom hardwood frame, outer dimensions measure 25 ¾ x 21 ¾ x 2 inches. Image size is 24 x 20 inches. Provenance: Estate of the Artist The Artist: A pr...
Howard Schleeter Shadow Variations (New Mexico), 1944
Shadow Variations (New Mexico)
Howard Schleeter
Housed in a custom hardwood and gold leaf frame, outer dimensions measure 26 ¼ x 30 ½ x 1 ½ inches. Image size is 17 ¼ x 21 ½ inches. About the artist: Howard Schleeter, the son of a ...
Paul Sample Still Life with Old Wood and Egg, 1965
Still Life with Old Wood and Egg
Paul Sample
Oil Paint, Board
A rare still life from the artist's best period. Housed in a custom frame, outer dimensions measure 24 ½ x 31 ½ inches. Image size is 15 ½ x 22 ½ inches.
Charles Ragland Bunnell Untitled (Colorado Mining District), 1951
Untitled (Colorado Mining District)
Charles Ragland Bunnell
Oil Paint, Board
Framed dimensions measure 29 x 24 x 1 ½ inches. Image size is 23 ½ x 18 ¾ inches. Provenance: Estate of Charles Ragland Bunnell Exhibited: midGilpin County Arts Association, Recipient...
Howard Schleeter Fetishes, 1949
Howard Schleeter
Mixed Media
An original painting by New Mexico modernist, Howard Schleeter. Presented in a custom frame created by the artist, outer dimensions measure 25 ½ x 31 ½ x 1 inches. Image size is 15 ½ ...
Barbara Latham Bouquet
Barbara Latham
Oil Paint, Board
Housed in a custom frame., outer dimensions measure 25 ½ x 31 ½ x 2 inches; image size is 24 x 29 ¾ inches. About the artist: Beginning her career as a commercial artist, Barbara Lath...
William Sanderson String Instruments #5
String Instruments #5
William Sanderson
Oil Paint, Board
Housed in a custom frame, outer dimensions measure 30 ¼ x 24 ¼ x 1 ½ inches. Image size is 24 x 18 inches. About the artist: William Sanderson, born in Dubbeln, Latvia, immigrated to ...
Vance Kirkland Peonies, 1924
Vance Kirkland
Oil Paint
A beautiful and rare early still life painting by Vance Kirkland. Housed in a custom hand-carved gold leaf frame; outer dimensions measure 35.5 x 41.5 x 2 inches. Canvas measures 27.5...
Paul Kauver Smith Untitled (Colorado Hill Town), circa 1940
Untitled (Colorado Hill Town)
Paul Kauver Smith
Oil Paint
Housed in a custom frame, outer dimensions measure 29 x 33 x 1 ¼ inches. Image size is 23 ¾ x 28 inches. Provenance: Estate of Paul K. Smith About the artist: Paul K Smith studied co...