Vail Fine Art, Vail |

Vail Fine Art, Vail

Wren Wertin

"Golden Beauty," by Michael and Innessa Garmash, oil on canvas.

As an 11-year-old, Jim Tylich began traveling the world, visiting museums. It’s a pastime that’s occupied a good part of his life, and opened doors to a career he seems fated to have chosen: art.

The owner of galleries in Colorado and New Mexico, Tylich’s collection is no hodgepodge of whatever art strikes his fancy. No, it’s a retrospective of particular artists and genres, Impressionism in particular. Known for his ability to – legally and ethically – bring work out of Europe, and specifically Russia, Tylich doesn’t purchase one painting at a time, but dozens. In one instance, he bought 300 paintings from a single Russian artist. In so doing, he’s able to present an artist’s work in context, which in turn allows connoisseurs to understand an artist’s body of work.

What is it about Impressionism that’s captivated Tylich?

“Impressionism is more of an emotional reaction to what’s going on around us,” Tylich says. “It came along with photography, because we no longer had to capture exactly what was happening around us. With Impressionism, we’re connecting more with the heart and the mind of the artist.”

This spring, Vail Fine Art is hosting four modern-day Impressionists: Russian portraitists Michael and Inessa Garmash, and American plein-air painter Don Sahli, as well as Sahli’s student Katie Dowling.

The Garmashes are masterful Romantic Impressionists. They paint together on the same canvas, but it wasn’t always that way. Michael painted a portrait of their two-year-old daughter for a project at school. When Michael was away, his daughter found the painting and “added” to it. Not wanting her husband to be upset, Inessa retouched the painting, packed it up and sent it with Michael for submission.

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The review board told Michael it was his best work to date. When he saw the painting he was surprised, but he recognized his wife’s style immediately. They’ve been painting together ever since. They, along with their interpreter and model, will visit the Vail gallery this spring.

The last apprentice of Russian master colorist Sergei Bongart, Sahli is known for his bold brushwork and a sense of freshness and immediacy. He doesn’t just wander into a field and begin painting – he paints in front of people. When he has a show at Vail Fine Art, he sits in the gallery and talks with people as he covers his canvases with paint.

“When I look at a painting, I want it to bring me back to when I was on the scene. I want it to convey the drama and emotion that first captured my attention – the atmosphere and the soul of the place. This is the goal of my work – to go past just the image to touch the viewer in a way that evokes emotion.”

He, in turn, has taught others, like local artist Katie Dowling. She continues in the Russian Impressionist legacy, painting both landscapes and still lifes.

“Art should move you,” Vail Fine Art manager Gretchen Greene says. “It’s more than mental response. It connects us as human beings, connects us on a level of humanity.”

Two locations:

141 East Meadow Drive, Suite 204

Solaris, Vail | 970.476.2900

228 Bridge Street

Vail | 970.476.7192