An exhibition of new sculptures by Arno Kortschot and paintings by Peter Stephens
will be on display from February 10 to March 17 at William Campbell Contemporary
Art. A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, February 10, from 6:00
to 8:00 p.m. The show will pair Kortschot's austere metal forms with Stephens's
content-rich panels, in effect juxtaposing measured geometric abstraction with
layers of organic energy and creating a dialogue about spatial relationships in
two and three dimensions.
Informed by the art and architecture of his native Netherlands, Arno Kortschot's
sculptures feature spare forms that reflect traditional elements of minimalism
and geometry. The artist, who describes his work as "purely a spatial concept,"
places primary focus on planar surfaces and the ways they relate physically and
visually to each other and to the space that surrounds them. Ordered lines and
angles carve out their own locale within the larger area, defining their own
internal structure, while at the same time being defined by external parameters.
In this sense, they are both in and of the global space.
Zinc is Kortschot's primary medium, chosen for its ability to reflect the
artist's minimalist sensibility, while at the same time lending a "timeless
and imperfect character" to the work. "The patina of zinc, created over time
through air, the environment, and especially by a person's touch, brings out
the unique character and is considered a part of the art," he explains.
Kortschot augments his monochromatic planes with swaths of bold color that
emphasize the form and space specific to each piece. Kortschot writes: "These
objects are directions to see things differently and to experience the beauty
of minimal concepts; to recognize, to appreciate, and to be inspired to change
the way of looking at things and your daily surroundings. In fact, they will
give the opportunity to travel further than any landscape will do."
Peter Stephens explores nature's physical and chemical reactions in his
paintings, reimagining them in a complex array of layered colors, shapes,
and lines. The abstract compositions combine geometric and organic elements
emblematic of both the order and chaos found in nature, and specifically, the
landscape, which Stephens recognizes as the sum of all universal life-from
molecular structures to larger, recognizable building blocks. "I see the
landscape as the totality of our environment, from the structure and behavior
of matter on a subatomic scale to the wonderment of the cosmological scale,"
Fascinated with outer space and the processes that produce reactions throughout
the universe, Stephens has long studied the patterns formed in the throes of
nature's communions and upheavals, on both micro and macro levels. Readings in
astronomy, cosmology, and physics have influenced his approach to painting,
resulting in a quest to redefine the visual paradigm and expand the universal
frame of reference.
With this body of work, Stephens transforms data into aesthetics and traditional
concepts of landscape into abstracted fields of measured visual elements. The
bold patterns are inspired by the artist's examinations of computer models
illustrating physical and chemical processes, interpreted here as interactions
among pigments, lines, and shapes on the picture plane. Stephens says, "That is
my object as the artist, to put into an aesthetic experience the beauty of
nature's systems and equations."
This two-person show is the first for Stephens at William Campbell Contemporary
Art, and the second for Kortschot.
ABOUT THE ARTIST ARNO KORTSCHOT
Born in the Netherlands, Arno Kortschot now resides in Vancouver, British
Columbia. He embarked on his fine art career in 1990, and since that time has
exhibited work throughout his native country and Canada, as well as in Germany.
In the United States, his sculpture has appeared at venues in Atlanta, Dallas,
Miami, Palm Springs, and Costa Mesa, California.
He has been featured in Collect, Western Living, Art NL, and Elle magazines;
the Vancouver Sun; and on the television show, Avro's Kunstblik. Kortschot
earned his BFA in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kampen, the
ABOUT THE ARTIST PETER STEPHENS
Based in Buffalo, New York, Peter Stephens
has worked for more than three decades as an exhibiting artist. His work has
been shown in galleries and museums across the United States, in New York, Los
Angeles, Chicago, Buffalo, and San Diego, among other cities. Stephens's work
appears in various museum collections, including those of the Albright-Knox Art
Gallery in Buffalo, the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and the
Peter Stephens earned his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
and also attended the University of Siena in Italy and New York's Rochester
Institute of Technology.