The Use of the Oblique in Komarin Post Painterly Abstraction:

Many collectors, writers, curators and supporters of my work have asked about the relationship between “oblque” images and the larger body of my work. I have long been intrigued by oblique images in general/ wherever i might find them and they are everywhere. I find fascination for example in the paving and repaving of a country road or city street, the way that the concrete is lighter in one section / darker in another section or smoother or rougher. The way that one section may bump into another creating a certain drama that no one is paying attention to, certainly not the sreet paver who cares little for such aesthtetic juxtapositions. The side or back of a truck that has been splattered with mud and salt and paint may come very close to the abstract paintings of italians during the ‘art povera ‘ movment in post wwII Italy, who worked with common materials like mud and sand and wood, in part because they were very inexpensive if not free, and for the pure simplicity of the materials which encouraged a poetic use of those materials. Stone steps we find in the bahamas that were put together years ago and compliled of stone and cement and fixed with more stone and cement, then exposed to the tropical rains and the hot tropical sun, take on a terriric beauty for their “patina,” their strength, their irregulariites of surface, height and width – yet still functioning as well. Finally one sees faces everyewhere that are “oblique” in trees and sides of houses, whether large or small /new or old. I have a tree...

Komarin Painting Acquired by MAMBO – Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota

Komarin Studio is proud to announce that the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota, MAMBO, has acquired a work by Gary Komarin for its permanent collection. The piece is entitled A Suite of Blue Sea Lucinda, 2016. Established in 1963, the MAMBO is a preeminent museum of Contemporary Art in Colombia. The museum was designed by modern architect Rogelio Salmona. Previous exhibitions have explored the different perspectives of the modern and contemporary world. These included retrospectives by Colombian, Latin American and international masters . Komarin joins renowned artists at MAMBO including: Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Louise Nevelson, Jesús Soto, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Smith, Bernard Venet, Niki de Saint Phalle, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Wilhelm de Kooning, Francis Bacon, Karel Appel, Julius Bissier, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Francisco Toledo, Joaquín Sorolla, Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera and Pablo...

Forms and Formlessness in Abstract Painting

Many collectors wonder about the use of forms and formlessness in contemporary abstract painting. Throughout the history of art, painters would generally paint forms in space whether they were bison and antelope, Jesus on the cross or a cow grazing in a meadow under an azure sky. This made good sense, as a painting was painted to tell a story and the story depending on the depiction of forms in space whether those forms were painted large or small, clearly or less clearly, but overall the forms existed and were meant to be seen. Abstract painting in the beginning of the 19th century, and with Picasso in particular leading the pack, painters began to break up forms and questioned the integrity of form. Partly as a result of experiments in physics wherein physicists began to see that forms were less stable than expected, composed of smaller particles that were themselves forever moving in space and these theories were somehow in the ether and painters being intuitive and tuned in, generally speaking, picked up on this issue of form and formlessness. Cezanne in the late 19th century began to break up forms whether they were human or trees or rocks and Picasso and Braque in Paris continued these explorations with analytic and synthetic cubism. Following this in the mid-20th century Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko further exploded forms in space, Pollock by dripping paint across the large surface of canvas he placed on the floor of his studio in East Hampton and Rothko by applying thin layers of paint, layering one color over another to dissolve form and create abundant and terrifyingly beautiful...

Komarin Exhibition in Japan at the Musee Kiyoharu

Nearly ten years ago, I was invited to have a solo exhibition at the prestigious and privately owned Musee Kiyoharu in the countryside of Japan. This is a pivotal and quite important exhibition for me as the exhibition was by invitation only, through the auspices of one of my Asian collectors who was in turn well connected with the owner of the museum who was a major collector in his own right. The show featured approximately twenty-five large works on canvas. The exhibition was titled: ‘Moon Flows like a Willow.’ The title came from a poem that my son Wyatt wrote when he was only 8 years old it had a beautifully oblique and resonant quality for me and also dovetailed very well with the Japanese fondness for willow trees and nature itself. We flew to Tokyo and took a train to Kyoto and from there a taxi to get to the museum which was set in the countryside of Japan which is quite extraordinary with its swaying bamboo trees, most much taller than any I had seen in America. They bend in the wind in the most magical fashion. The show was a big success, widely reviewed in Japanese press and was followed by an outdoor concert featuring huge kettle drums that were played loudly with long wooden sticks.                         Painting, especially abstract painting, speaks to all people. The voice of abstract painting speaks to all languages and language in a curiously happy way drops out and viewers can appreciate color, tone, texture and shape free from...

Running into de Kooning

Although it seems far more recent in the mind’s eye, it was back in the late 70’s that my dear wife and I rented a house out in the summer of 1979 in the Springs, East Hampton, where I was painting for my very first New York exhibition at Maxwell Davidson Gallery. Little did we know till a few days had passed that we had in fact rented next door to the world famous and very talented painter: Willem de Kooning. I had been a devoted fan of de Kooning’s work ever since I was introduced to it in art school and very much loved his free swinging brush, and the way he would put a painting together, take it apart and put it back together, usually much stronger for the passages and necessary torture, it (the painting) went through. I am writing this piece from a cottage in Southampton, New York, looking out on grassy fronds and blue green bodies of water, all of it reminding me of that summer in the Springs. East Hampton and other sections of the east end of Long Island had great attraction for many painters of the early 50’s who were working in gritty downtown lofts, often dark and dank, and noisy from trucks rambling below. For de Kooning, the Springs reminded him of parts of Holland with its low lying land and pools of water and grass and a big sky overlooking everything. One would see de Kooning bicycling around in high white painter pant overalls and we chatted just a bit and he rounded this and that curve in the...