‘Assorted Scenes’ of colorful American life on display at AfA Gallery in Scranton through Aug. 31
From a press release:
Opening during First Friday Scranton, an exhibit called “Been There Done That: Assorted Scenes” featuring paintings by Gail Kolflat continues to run at the AfA Gallery in downtown Scranton through Saturday, Aug. 31.
Exciting colors and engaging themes draw viewers into the vibrant paintings of regional artist Gail Kolflat. Eye-catching and invigorating, this one-person exhibition touches on themes of social commentary with an emphasis on compositions featuring people involved in assorted activities and events, such as a concert in a park, a flower arrangement class, commuters on a train, students at a university, and a lakeside interlude.
Kolflat’s interpretation of Americana and genre painting is contemporary and uniquely fresh, with distinctive hues and a stylish manner of presentation. A number of works are multi-panel, large-format compositions, and several have irregularly shaped borders. All are painted in oil and acrylic on canvas.
“In a sense, these works portray America in positive and refreshing tones that are so rare in contemporary art. It’s America at play, and it is a significant facet of our culture as is violence and drug abuse. Kolflat’s work stands alongside those artists who came before who have portrayed a segment of a population, one that describes a particular time and place. Like Impressionists with their sun-dazzled boating scenes and picnics, Kolflat’s people at play describe an innocence in America that still exists,” fellow artist Marilyn J. Fox said.
Born in the Midwest and raised in Winnetka, Illinois, Kolflat earned a BFA with Honors from Parsons School of Design in New York City. Her artistic career blossomed after developing a signature style of large-scale colorful canvases that meld abstract and representational components.
Through the 1990s, she exhibited frequently, gave artist talks and demonstrations, wrote a column for the county art council’s bimonthly newspaper, and maintained a robust studio practice.
At the turn of the century, she took a break from art while raising her daughters. 15 years later, an invitation from a local university to participate in an exhibit in their gallery sparked a complete revival in the artist’s practice. Since then, she has produced a fresh body of work, a renewal of earlier paintings but evolved, encompassing expanded topics, modified techniques, and a distinct, mature sensibility. She currently serves as the membership chairperson for the New York City Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art.
Artwork is available for purchase and to view. Gallery hours at AfA (514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton) are Thursday through Saturday from noon-5 p.m. Private viewings can be arranged by calling 570-969-1040 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Kolflat’s artist statement below:
As an artist, I find it compelling to create compositions of human society. My paintings are a recording of people today, living in our world, partaking in experiences, culture, and lifestyles common to us all. Painted over a period of months, my compositions evolve much on their own.
A spontaneous abstract footprint initiates every work. It is intertwined with figurative representations derived from sketches and photographs used as sources for the primary layout of a painting. The sources are then disregarded, as I prefer to improvise from that point onward, relying on a continuing interaction of realistic and abstract principles. Using human forms, objects, landscapes, and buildings, I invite the viewer into a world he/she can recognize, understand, and share – as if at the scene, participating in an event, or surmising a situation. The abstract elements “free the viewer from the monotony and predictability of a too real vision.”
My work consists of singular or multi-panel assemblages, executed with a broad use of color. Color is of great significance, appealing to emotions and mood. I allow myself to use any pigments that seem appropriate for a painting; instinct derived from experience.
Observing and delving into the interplay of shapes, textures, and colors is what drew me into the visual arts. I focus on groupings of people – who they are, where they are, why they are there, the ambiance surrounding them collectively as well as individually. Tapestries, textiles, Art Nouveau,
modern abstract painting, Impressionism, the human condition, and numerous venues in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City continue to serve as inspiration for my work. The greatest contributing factor to the development of my art is a need to create.
Artists for Art was founded in 1988 as a regional visual artists’ organization whose purpose is to promote the appreciation of the visual arts and to provide support for regional visual artists.
AfA is a venue for rotating monthly exhibits of artwork by regional artists. The works of artists from outside this region are also exhibited to broaden the community’s exposure to the arts. Other art-related events such as workshops, poetry readings, lectures, figure drawing sessions, and performance art also take place at the gallery.