2 Expressionists: visual thoughts of artists Horst Kohlem and Danilo Gonzalez collide in a most informative manner this month at the Art Place in Wynwood. (til June 1st).
Their paintings are remarkably synergistic, despite sensibilities born from dissimilar cultures. Gonzales' Dominican Republic background belies his muted tonal works, while Kohlem exhibits a wide array of organic colors and shapes, though his thoughts were molded from the metaphoric springboard of a childhood in the French/German region of Alsace. Both now have residences in Miami, bringing a synchronic perception to the mix.
Communiqué from the Art Place: "2 Expressionists" is a statement about two mature and committed artist who understand that it is their responsibility to make works that share a concern and respect for our natural environment.”
“German artist Horst Kohlem's paintings become relics of underwater decay and transformation where color and light flourish.”
Gonzalez “uses a tonal palette to express his concern for the destruction we cause to our environment. His greys are more identifiable with European Expressionists such as Georg Baselitz, an artist that greatly inspired Gonzalez painting development.”
Danilo Gonzalez reflects: “My pieces are intended to make us think about our collective place and to move us to accept responsibility for our actions to one another and to the earth”.
The Art Place in Wynwood (Danilo Gonzales’ gallery) has been on the Wynwood site since 2008, settling in the now ground-zero of Second Saturday Gallery Night action. Gonzalez' first gallery experience lasted 15 years in the Dominican Republic before relocating to Paris, New York, Vermont and finally our turf four years ago. Gonzalez is a warm and welcoming artist and gallerist, obviously comfortable in his own skin. The state of the environment, however, is not an agreeable situation for Gonzalez, a topic he continually addresses in the pieces we see before us. As I approached his work, at once it appeared both expressionistic, yet recognizable, as shapes lead to the purpose and gravitas behind each piece in quick succession. Gonzalez' moody swathes of paint beckon us inward, encouraging the viewer to unravel why the murky scenic landscapes leave an unsettled sensation.
A life long painter and sculptor, Horst Kohlem maintains studios in Miami and Karlsruhe, Germany. Kohlem’s information states that Horst “has diverse thematic perspectives including historical, mythological and environmental themes. From his early landscape objects to his recent paintings, his work is known for its physical materiality, like Anselm Kiefer and Emil Schumacher, from the same academy (Karlsruhe).”
Kohlem: “Time is very important in my work. I attempt to overcome its transitory nature and reduce the significance of chronology by focusing on the ‘timeless’ character of my work as a revolving cycle, taking objects and ideas out of their normal context and turning them into relics of another age.”
We discussed his piece entitled “Gallant Lady of Belise”, so named for a shipwreck off the island of Bimini. Diving is one of Kohlem’s great interests and his work is informed by this pursuit. Rusty oxidized metal tones accompanied by the brown/greens of aged bronze are abundant in this exhibition.
I searched out a video of “The Gallant Lady” wreckage and realized the creamy aquas in the paintings are the outcome of Bahamian waters lapping against the partially submerged “Gallant Lady”. It initially surprised me that the aqua shade existed in his work until the video enlightened me. Horst uses paint like a sculptor, mixing his own conglomerations and inviting the sun to dry out mixtures to pull away, creating cracks so significant in the process of decay.
The selected works were chosen by Diane Camber, Independent Curator and Director Emerita of the Bass Museum of Art. Cambers is familiar to many of long standing in the Miami arts community.
2 Expressionists will be on display until Closing Reception on June 1st 6-10pm.
The next Second Saturday event will be called "Miami Mix" on June 9th 6-11 PM Further information will be available soon at http://theartplacewynwood.wordpress.com
The Art Place Wynwood
2722 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL, 3312 786.709.1842
Danilo Gonzalez, Director/Chief Curator