Lynn Kotula – 1945- 2021

A Clear Vision

Exhibition Dates: March 9 – April 10, 2021

Virtual Exhibition at: http://www.bowerygallery.org/lynnkotula.html

Round Eggplant, Cucumber, Winter Landscape, oil on panel 14″x19″, 2009

Lynn Kotula creates a kind of magic that is simultaneously robust and quiet. Her paintings are completely lacking in pretense or artifice. Rather, they are built on acute sensitivity, keen analysis, and deep love for the experience of seeing. These works are richly rewarding for those who take the time to look slowly, allowing each painting to unfold. Viewing them online, the viewer is well-served to refrain from the rapid clicking and scrolling that have come to characterize so much contemporary experience. As one looks at Kotula’s paintings, her lemons, squash and eggplants, in their various careful arrangements, take on multiple meanings. The vegetables and kitchen implements become characters, as if on a stage, suggesting the possible varieties of human connection.

Bottle Gourd, Funnel and Striped Cloth, o/c, 21×28″

In her own words Kotula explains:

I have always painted from observation. I started painting in the landscape.  I liked being outdoors and racing the light before it changed, rearranging the colors and shapes I’d found.

But I soon succumbed to New York’s winters and stayed indoors, where I set up still life arrangements as substitutes for the landscape. I discovered that I liked finding the shapes and colors in arrangements of vegetables, boxes and cloth from which I could construct “landscapes” and dramas of my own devising, and I loved the slower pace that still life provided.

In all my painting, what compels me is exploring the tension between what I see and what I can invent as an equivalent in two dimensions.  I want to paint paintings in which each gesture – color or line – has multiple meanings. The ochre does more than name the “pear”; it has a relationship with a yellow, or red or green; it’s color and drawing.  I love the transformation of the seen into the language of color and shape.  I want my paintings to tell the non-verbal stories that only painting can tell.”

Cake plate with Striped Squash and Bitter Gourd, o/c 20″x20″

Of her recent drawings of cats she writes:

My cats have always drawn me to them with their spiraling, hidden forms. This year, for the first time, I drew them exclusively in pen—no erasing. The pen forces me to keep moving, moving, helping me to see the cat in motion. (What one learns— quickly —is that one’s kitty, who seems always to be asleep, is really only moving from one pose to another, always in motion.)

Cats I, ink on paper, 11×14″

Kotula is highly respected by her fellow artists who have written these excerpts about her many exhibitions:.

Thaddeus Radell wrote about Kotula’s paintings in  Rooms With a View: Seven Artists at Westbeth Gallery: A lemon painted by Lynn Kotula is proof that art exists. One can literally count the four or five clear internal tones set against a modest array of equally clear surrounding tones….Notes of color (are) brought alive.

John Goodrich wrote about Kotula’s 2012 Bowery Gallery show: In (her) still life paintings, Lynn Kotula…finds a deeper reality in vital forms. Minuets between fruit, vegetables and tableware capture the interior lives of these ostensibly inanimate objects.

In 2016 Goodrich wrote: Kotula’s…small still lifes reveal a great deal of sharp observation, and also a deft synthesizing of impressions. They show the power of color – of not just tone, hue, and intensity, but also that inexplicable quality of density or pressure – to re-enact the workings of light.

Rita Baragona notes: Kotula’s still life paintings exude a serene beauty that comes from humble searching. One marvels at the light in her nuanced grays….Visually, the marks come alive describing her love of them and the sheer joy of looking.

Kamini Avril adds: (Kotula’s) luminous, intelligent paintings project deep and quiet, beautiful strength. (They are) gems, records of her observation, imagination, and love.

A Lot of Squash and Eggplants, One Huge, o/c 16″ x 32″ 2008

Kotula has shown regularly at Bowery Gallery since 2012, and previously at Prince Street gallery.  She has also shown numerous times with the Zeuxis group. Kotula’s work has also been shown at Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Lohin Geduld Gallery, BCK Fine Arts Gallery (Montauk) and The Painting Center, among others.

     NOTE: The paintings in this exhibit are not for sale at this time. However, sales will be considered at a future point. Please direct inquiries to Gallery Manager, info@bowerygallery.org

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