Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Current Show

Check out www.victoriaemergingart.com for new paintings available through the Victoria Emerging Art Gallery.

Please contact info@victoriaemergingart.com for viewings and sales.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

About Me

Pete Kohut moved to Vancouver Island from Winnipeg in 2004. Over the past seven years his work has moved through a series of stylistic and theoretical explorations without ever veering away from a distinctive, highly recognizable personal aesthetic that has been, perhaps, most deeply concerned with representation of the human form. He began his artistic life on the West Coast with Statuettes, a series of figurative paintings that investigated the monochromatic. In his words, “A monotone image takes the subject matter from the usual perception of things and places it into a new, ethereal context. It seemed only fitting to experiment with the whole range of the basic colour spectrum.”
Perpetually working at the borders between the naturalistic and the abstract he has at times more fully embraced the representational, as with his 2007-2008 series, Joy. About this work he stated, “I have turned from abstraction, which I believe alienates the viewer. Clever juggling of form and colour do not seem relevant to my current mode of expression. Self-referential symbols and archetypes run the risk of being obscure, and I want to create images that everyone can experience without a written rationale or explanation . . . This series follows the theme of simple joys in every day life. Brought on by the sense of peace that the landscape of the West Coast gives me, my subjects express my appreciation of the familiar.” His subjects from this period follow the traditions of still life, landscape, and, of course, the nude.
By 2009, he had left this tranquility and simplicity to address the complexity of emotions inherent in human relationships, in works rendered with an emphasis on lines and planes that is reminiscent of cubism. As he describes, “Vulnerability is a series of paintings on the theme of emotional fragility. There are two sides to the coin of a loving relationship. On one side are all the giddy, weightless, exciting, and hopeful feelings. On the other side of the coin are all the feelings of loss, grief, depression, and anger. The figures in the paintings are enacting these powerful emotions . . . I was compelled to create these works for two reasons: 1) therapeutic to release troubling memories from my mind 2) intrigued by experiments into how to represent the figure in a more expressive way (as opposed to photographic realism).”
His most recent work sees a renewed interest in forms and an attention to the multifarious moods created by their shifting juxtapositions. “Over the past year, I have been intrigued by the effects of repetition of form and the use of line in painting. My studies in contemporary art have pushed me to search beyond naturalism to find a means of communicating. The paintings are transitioning from paintings that look like things to paintings that are expressions.” The complexity of relationships is not, here, represented by highly readable body positioning and the facial expressions of individuals, but rather by the intricate shapes and patterns that emerge when quasi-abstracted human forms are superimposed on one another.
Victoria Emerging Art Gallery welcomed Pete in 2010 as a finalist in the first ever Victoria Emerging Art Award show, and has since had the pleasure of witnessing the ongoing excitement his work generates in both new and established audiences and collectors.
—Victoria Emerging Art Gallery
Represented by Victoria Emerging Art Gallery. For viewings and sales, please contact info@victoriaemergingart.com

Exhibit-V Solo Exhibition at the Victoria Emerging Art Gallery
Exhibit-V Victoria Emergin Art Gallery Grand Opening
Inner views with Ally
Robert Amos column in Times Colonist.
Exhibit-V virtual tour of the Victoria Emerging Art Awards

Below are some of the spaces that have exhibited my work over the past few years:

Victoria Emerging Art Gallery in Victoria, BC, 2011
Dales Gallery in Victoria, BC (as part of Victoria Emerging Art Gallery), 2011
The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach, BC, 2010
The Avenue Gallery (as part of Victoria Emerging Artist Awards) in Victoria, BC, 2010.
Overleaf Cafe in Victoria, BC, 2010
Chemainus Theatre Festival Art Gallery in Chemainus, BC, 2010
District Hall in North Vancouver, BC, 2009
Libby’s Kitchen in Vancouver, BC, 2009
CFB Comox Lobby/Lounge in Comox, BC, 2009
Muir Gallery in Courtenay, BC, 2008
Aurora Gallery in Vancouver, BC, 2008
Yaletown Gallery in Vancouver, BC, 2008
Eileen Fong Co-op Gallery in Vancouver, BC, 2008