Current Issue #488

Painting between mess and sense with Waldemar Kolbusz

Painting between mess and sense with Waldemar Kolbusz

Waldemar Kolbusz’s two streams of painting will finally be shown together, as Aptos Cruz will showcase the Perth artist’s figurative and expressionistic works side-by-side for the first time with the exhibition, On the other hand.

Waldemar Kolbusz’s painting practice consists of two streams, expressionistic works — which are unplanned and spontaneous but become controlled and considered — and his figurative works, which start as planned and controlled but end up being spontaneous as the expressiveness takes over. On the other hand at Aptos Cruz Gallery is the first time both styles of Kolbusz’s paintings will be shown together.

“Aptos Cruz is perfect for this because of the beautiful rambling spaces, allowing unique enclaves and individual sections for a work or group of works to hang together,” Kolbusz says.

Waldemar Kolbusz, Santiago

It’s the intersection between the formality in expressionism and order verses the chaos, the point where the paintings cross from abstract to figurative or vice versa that fascinates Kolbusz.

“I have been pushing my expressionistic works over the years to distil my understanding of points of change in them, within the painting process,” he says. “For example, to pinpoint exactly when the unconsidered marks change from something of a mess to something else.”

The two styles of work are similar in their technique and palette and both explore Kolbusz’s emotional response to life and what’s happening around him.

“They reflect what is important to me in my life and my life as an artist, my ideas of lifestyle and my place in the world,” he says. “They reveal my aesthetic of things not being too precious, and being allowed to be messy, not pulled apart and understood completely.”

Waldemar Kolbusz, North

The works on display at Aptos Cruz are all new works and are a continuation of Kolbusz’s practice but also include a new direction in the form of landscape works, such as North (a depiction of a landscape in the Pilbara).

“This landscape works bring in something new I am looking at, more a sensory experience or expression of the landscape at the time I was there and my place in it,” he says. “In a painting sense it’s aligning my abstraction and figurative streams even further and I will be exploring this more in future shows.”

Both styles of work invite the viewer to wander across the canvas: searching and looking for clarity in the figurative works for landmarks and focal points, which Kolbusz purposely excludes. And, in the abstract works, to search for identifiable markers that might provide clues to the meaning of the work.

On the other hand celebrates Kolbusz’s practice and highlights his skill as both an abstract and figurative painter. Bold colours and brushstrokes sweep the canvas, resulting in aesthetically pleasing, atmospheric paintings that ignite the senses.

Waldemar Kolbusz
On the other hand
Aptos Cruz Gallery
Until Sunday, August 26

Header image: Waldemar Kolbusz, Kilter (detail.)

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