Gail Kolflat, Moments in Place: moments in time, Main Line Art Center
June 14 – July 15, 2019, Main Line Art Center 746 Panmure Road, Haverford, PA 19041
Monday – Thursday 9am-9pm Friday – Sunday 9am-5pm.
Reminiscent of a shadow box with 4 overlapping layers, beyond the pink liatris and blue hydrangea in the foreground, this painting presents a couple of women actively engaged in floral design activity and conversation during an evening session of flower arranging. Behind them a woman works on her creation, and in the distance through the window, cars are parked under a darkening sky – the mode of transportation for the aficionados.
College life! Students between classes mingle and walk on campus grounds, with a stately school building behind them. In this painting, there’s a clear dialogue between abstract and representational elements, forming the body of the composition.
This is a poignant painting that highlights the maternal bond of a mother and her new daughter, and the daughter’s compassion and sorrow after the death of her mother years later. Raw human emotions transpired from two of life’s most significant events, combine and contrast making this a powerful piece.
Exciting colors and engaging themes draw viewers into the vibrant paintings of regional artist Gail Kolflat. Eye-catching, and invigorating, this one-person exhibition touches on themes of social commentary, with an emphasis on compositions featuring people involved in assorted activities and events, such as: a concert in a park, a flower arrangement class, commuters on a train, students at a university, or a lakeside interlude. Kolflat’s interpretation of Americana and genre painting is contemporary, and uniquely fresh, with distinctive hues and a stylish manner of presentation. A number of works are multi-panel, large format compositions and several have irregular shaped borders. All are painted in oil and acrylic on canvas.
“In a sense these works portray America in positive and refreshing tones that are so rare in contemporary art. It’s America at play, and it is a significant facet of our culture as is violence and drug abuse. Kolflat’s work stands alongside those artists who came before who have portrayed a segment of a population, one that describes a particular time and place. Like Impressionists with their sun dazzled boating scenes and picnics, Kolflat’s people at play describe an innocence in America that still exists.” Marilyn J Fox
Gail Kolflat is a notable east coast artist, who returned to the exhibition arena in 2013 after taking a fifteen year break while raising her daughters. She has long, strong exhibition history, and currently serves as the Membership Chairperson for the New York City Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art.
This piece represents two anticipatory gatherings, one of several girl friends primping and chatting, the other of male friends casually relaxing and enjoying refreshments, and finally center stage, a melding of the highlighted parties into respective pairings. The idea behind the creation of this piece flowed from a series of optimistic possibilities related to young graduates in my orbit, their coteries, encouraging news from professionals, and the glow of a positive mindset.
Artist Statement: Gail Kolflat
As an artist I find it compelling to create compositions of human society. My paintings are a recording of people today, living in our world, partaking in experiences, culture and lifestyles common to us all. Painted over a period of months, my compositions evolve much on their own.
A spontaneous abstract footprint initiates every work. It is intertwined with figurative representations derived from sketches and photographs used as sources for the primary layout of a painting. The sources are then disregarded, as I prefer to improvise from that point onward, relying on a continuing interaction of realistic and abstract principles. Using human forms, objects, landscapes, and buildings, I invite the viewer into a world he/she can recognize, understand and share – as if at the scene, participating in an event, or surmising a situation. The abstract elements “free the viewer from the monotony and predictability of a too real vision.”
My work consists of singular or multi-panel assemblages, executed with a broad use of color. Color is of great significance, appealing to emotions and mood. I allow myself to use any pigments that seem appropriate for a painting; instinct derived from experience.
Observing and delving into the interplay of shapes, textures and colors is what drew me into the visual arts. I focus on groupings of people – who they are, where they are, why they are there, the ambiance surrounding them collectively as well as individually. Tapestries, textiles, Art Nouveau, modern abstract painting, Impressionism, the human condition and numerous venues in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City continue to serve as inspiration for my work. The greatest contributing factor to the development of my art is a need to create.
Thank you to Gail Kolflat for the content of this post.
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