Smarkusz returned to Hartford Art School and created Expressionist lithographs
Concluding his time at Bellas Artes in Mexico, Vincent returned to Hartford Art School in Connecticut to complete his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, which had been interrupted by five years of service in WWII. He worked full time doing various commercial art services, and also worked in the local manufacturing industry, as did his brothers, his mother, and his father before them - all the while studying part time at Hartford Art. He continued to create many drawings and paintings, in addition to several lithographs printed with black ink, in a dark Figurative Expressionist style.
Vincent's adjustment to the mundane workaday realities of life in his industrial hometown of New Britain, combined with recurring symptoms of P.T.S.D. from the war, began to manifest as anxiety and depression. He started using art to express his personal feelings, and to assuage his growing existential angst about modern life and death. He had been much too close to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ignore the inhumanity in man. The Cold War arms race had begun - and with its threat of nuclear annihilation, the world grew ever more strange.
Ever since the horrors of WWI, Expressionist art combined with Existential philosophy, sought to address the plight of modern humanity. Cubism and Surrealism were also engaged in reaction to the abstract absurdities of a dehumanizing global technocracy. Catalyzed by his own experiences in WWII, Smarkusz would eventually combine all of these influences into one art form.