Artist’s ‘Opus’ set for Julie Nester Gallery show
“Opus,” a new exhibit by visual artist Teresa Kalnoskas, will open Friday, June 29, at Julie Nester Gallery, 1280 Iron Horse Dr. For information, visit www.julienestergallery.com.
Last winter, visual artist Teresa Kalnoskas found herself working alone on the Point Reyes peninsula in Northern California where she was struck by “nature’s duality of contrary forces,” she said.
That journey lead to “Opus,” a new exhibit that symbolizes “a worship of beauty in chaos,” according to Kalnoskas’ artist statement.
“These paintings seek to interpret the morphic resonance and harmony that cannot always be grasped physically and can be explosive even in silence,” Kalnoskas said.
The 14 abstract paintings will show starting Friday, June 29, at the Julie Nester Gallery, 1280 Iron Horse Dr., during the Park City Gallery Association’s monthly Gallery Stroll.
“‘Opus’ addresses gravity, graceful falling and temporary suspension, a significant shift in movement from prior works,” Kalnoskas said in her statement. “The object is not the end, but a departure for giving narrative to our human condition through simultaneous movement and pause. Its exoskeleton has been stripped away leaving pure energy. I am increasingly drawn to those works which define the universal in the particular.”
“Opus” is also Kalnoskas’ fourth show at Julie Nester Gallery, which has represented her for the past 10 years.
“(Julie) has the most impressive gallery and artist roster in Park City,” Kalnoskas said in an email interview. “It is a large, gorgeous space with high-quality work.”
Kalnoskas’ interest in art reaches back to her youth.
“I don’t recall there ever being a question about not painting,” she said. “As far back as I can remember — probably around 5 or 6 years old — I have found solace and satisfaction in the act of drawing and painting. Every aspect of painting excites me — the smells, the craft, the physical engagement and the endless materials to work with.
“It seems to me that all artists, whatever medium they immerse themselves in, are driven by the same need,” Kalnoskas said. “That is, to define the emotion understood by all humanity which haunts them. Also, I believe that many mediums combined, such as visual art and music, work symbiotically.”
While she is known for her abstract works, Kalnoskas took a while to make the jump to that genre.
“I studied very traditional painting for the first twenty years and I still absolutely love it,” she said. “Then I had an epiphany after being exposed to the works of the early expressionists, such as Chaim Soutine and more contemporary versions, like Frank Auerbach.”
Kalnoskas’ creative floodgates opened after she discovered abstract expressionists Hans Hoffman, Mark Rothko, William De Kooning, according to Kalnoskas.
“Franz Kline, in particular, connected the dots,” she said. “He was born in the same region of Pennsylvania where I grew up and his abstractions of the coal mines and shafts are simultaneously familiar and exhilarating.”
Kalnoskas’ go-to medium was oil paints and she was attracted to the medium’s flow, smell and “traditional use,” she said.
“I love drawing into the paintings and oil sticks are fantastic for that,” Kalnoskas said. “Finally, there is a unique richness to the colors of oil paint that are hard to find in any other medium.”
The artist is now known for combining oil paints with alkyds and wax, which she began working with as a solution to becoming physically sensitive to turpentine.
“The traditional medium used to thin oil paint is damar varnish and stand oil,” Kalnoskas said. “Damar crystals need to be dissolved in pure gum turpentine. It is a fantastic catalyst to give fluidity to the paint, but many oil painters become increasingly sensitive with long-term exposure.”
Since Kalnoskas had done encaustic works before, she found that an alkyd resin combined with oil paint and wax could offer similar flow to oil paint.
“The unexpected benefit is that this combination can also be used for glazing and for building up the surface,” she said. “I am always experimenting and, occasionally, it leads to happy accidents.”
Kalnoskas’ latest experiment is working in acrylics first and finishing with oils.
“The majority of the paintings in this ‘Opus’ exhibition are this combination,” she said. “I am seeking the best of all worlds in the medium’s application, color and low toxicity.”
Although Kalnoskas’ style has evolved over the years, her works still maintain some constants – movement, directional lines, meditative observation and relationship of forms, generally in an abstracted still life genre, she said.
“What has evolved is the variation of those elements,” Kalnoskas explained. “Over time, environment and sense of present moment have altered my movement and line from being horizontal, circular, inclusive, explosive and vertical. The forms have become increasingly minimal and deconstructed. Finally, the paint surface itself has shifted from being completely thick impasto to include layering, scraping and glazing.”
Her inspirations include her childhood family farm and the exposure to nature, bounty and decay.
“They give a narrative to our human condition which has been transferable to village butcher shops in Italy, the garden belts of California and the beautiful rage of the Pacific Ocean,” she said.
In creating a work, Kalnoskas has both struggled with and followed her muse.
“I want to trust the muses to take the lead and — when I am in flow — I do,” she said.
In some cases, the struggle seems more honest.
“No one wants a struggle, but I paint in the moment about the moment, and I cannot always define that to the perfection desired,” Kalnoskas said.
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