May 11-June 16
Flashes of color, abstract patterns, bold renderings of lights and darks—all surge to the fore in a kaleidoscope of new paintings presented by Kevin Weckbach at Gallery 1261 this month. The show, titled Land, Figure, Oil, Water, is made up of more than 20 new works in a wide range of subject matter and media that underlines Weckbach’s increasing artistic stature. The show opens with a reception on May 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Never one to be rule-bound, Weckbach continues to push boundaries and take on challenges. His new works include larger oil paintings built up over months with lush brushwork and transparent layers, as well as intuitive, free-flowing watercolors that are vignettes of grace and motion. In addition, he’s branched out from his signature interpretations of Colorado landscapes to include a smattering of suburban neighborhoods to “mix it up with something manmade.” About the appeal of the “burbs,” the artist says, “I like the different shapes of the houses and their contrasting colors.” He also reveals his skill in working with models. “I like a model that is comfortable posing. When it comes to body type, I like variety—overweight, old, it doesn’t matter. It’s all beautiful.”
For Weckbach, art is less about subject matter and more about seeing visual relationships. He unpacks each composition, analyzes its critical components, and creates a solid foundation upon which to embellish its resounding rhythms. One of the largest paintings in the show, WINTER, a 50-by-60-inch oil, is especially notable, says Christine Serr of Gallery 1261. “Weckbach really stretches his artistic muscle, and this painting is of particular interest for its balance of shapes and values, as well as its abstracted layers of paint—bright, vibrant colors troweled over in grays.”
Born and raised in Colorado, Weckbach can’t recall a time when he didn’t want to be a professional artist. A graduate of Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, he studied for several years under the guidance of Quang Ho, master painter and owner of Gallery 1261, at the Art Students League of Denver. Ho offers high praise for the show: “Of all the painters I know today, no one better exemplifies a well-rounded artist than Kevin. He has the skills of a virtuoso, the heart and expression of Van Gogh, and the ability to explore visual vocabulary the way an artist should. Truly a rare combination.”
For some time now, Weckbach has been an artist to watch. His work has become synonymous with craftsmanship, drive, and vision. There is a sophistication and maturity about the works in this show, which the artist calls his “richest body of work yet.” As he says, “I’m spreading my wings, experimenting with color, developing each composition’s depth. I want my own unique voice to shine through.” —Rosemary Carstens
Featured in May 2012.