Exploring Jan Kolata’s Paintings With a Wandering Eye and an Introspective Mind

Artsy Editorial
Jul 9, 2014 7:16PM
100.80.2014.12, 2014
Odon Wagner Contemporary
100.100.2014.07, 2014
Odon Wagner Contemporary

Artist Jan Kolata embarks on visual explorations into the world of painting. The works featured in his new solo exhibition, “ULTRAKONTINENTAL” at Odon Wagner Contemporary focus on the ways in which an artist can affect viewers through creating different types of visual experiences. It quickly becomes apparent that color is king in this exhibition, where Kolata’s vibrant palette activates the gallery, introducing a wide range of hues that have a commanding presence, demanding attention for the presentation as a whole—before the details of individual works invite closer examination.

One of the ways in which Kolata creates a rich diversity of visual experiences is through manipulating the artistic materials that he uses. In the paintings shown in “ULTRAKONTINENTAL,” Kolata pours acrylic on canvas and shifts the paint in different ways using various brushes and squeegees. He then explores the ways in which his materials relate: the absorption of one material into another, the perspectival effects of layering and removing paint, and the compelling results of different movements and types of brushstrokes of varying size, direction, and force.

As a result of this process, Kolata’s works encourage a wandering eye and an introspective mind. Directional brushstrokes draw the viewer’s gaze across the canvas, while skeins of paint and underlying color and form cause the eye to pause over particular details of the pieces. The abstraction of Kolata’s imagery leads viewers to translate their own emotions and ideas on the work as they gaze. Through his own practice of visual exploration, Kolata sparks compelling personal exploration for his audience in a way that creates a unique and memorable conversation between his paintings and their viewers.

Sophia Alexandrov

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Artsy Editorial