Uwe Kowski

28 Apr - 25 Aug 2012

Mein Zimmer
28 April – 25 August 2012

Uwe Kowski's paintings present themselves to the beholder as a colourful maze. At first glance, they appear as an impenetrable mesh, made of abstract forms and colours. And once the look adjourns to the painting, it is trapped. The eye wanders from left to right, follows the lines that end in a deadlock, jumps across accumulations of colour fields and automatically searches for the golden thread which marks the way out. From there, with some distance, it tries to get an overview of the painting and elicit from it a contextual interpretation. One tries to perceive a head, a landscape or a structure among the lines. However, there is never certitude whether the seen is what is meant to be seen that way or if it derives from ones own fantasy. Using concise titles like „KAMMER" (chamber) or „Die Dinge" (the things), Uwe Kowski does preset a direction - but the final painting develops within the beholder's eyes and does not only compose itself from colours, lines, and fields, but also from chains of associations and thoughts that generate during the process of viewing.

While in Uwe Kowski's early works it often used to be characters that concealed behind the colour frame, in „Mein Zimmer" (My Room) or „Tier" (Animal) almost anatomical forms establish themselves. To be sure, these are entirely without contours that would outline them as subsumable bodies. Instead they are evoked by conscious placement of colour-coordinated contrasts next to each other. Since Uwe Kowski's student days in the eighties at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, portrait has never entirely vanished from his oeuvre. That is now recaptured in an entirely different, abstract way and moves him somewhat closer to the beholder by facing him with his own, thus familiar body shape.

Moreover, the palette has changed in the new works and keeps it together just like a frame. Instead of saturated, uninterrupted colours, a warmer, more pastel undertone has applied to the canvas and also the drawings have become gentler. Bit by bit, white, rose, and grey overlay the darker and stronger layers of paint. That can be deduced from „Küche" (Kitchen), the first painting from the new block of works.

In the process of painting, there is only one way for Uwe Kowski, which he intuitively follows even if the paintings derive from an initial idea. He has spent more time on the new works than he formerly did. He sometimes put the canvas away to see it anew and to start working on it again with a little more distance. Thus, works were created that have more accumulations and mounds that pile up on the canvas to complex colour mountains and cohere layer by layer in their carefully chosen composition of fields and lines - a surface and an imagery that, just like the earth, consists of infinitely deep, dense, and overlapping crusts.

His direct surrounding, by incidents or sociological issues always influences Uwe Kowski's paintings. But above all, they are a preoccupation with painting itself, with its autonomous elements - line, form, colour, field, and its possibility to create (associational) spaces without displaying spaces or objects in space.

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