Peter Köhler

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Works by John Aslanidis, Susann Brännström,

Peter Köhler, Karen Schifano, Lorraine Williams

November 2 – December 22, 2007

Opening reception Friday, November 2, 6 to 8 pm

Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 am to 6 pm

Tobey Fine Arts is proud to present the second exhibition of works by the international group of artists calling themselves the Verus Painters,
whom are John Aslanidis, Susann Brännström, Peter Köhler, Karen Schifano and Lorraine Williams. 

The Verus Painters are the new generation of painters working with a wealth of painterly history and ideas accumulated over the last century. They approach painting as a laboratory where experiments are conducted. What has brought these artists together is their shared commitment to the veracity in painting. The most important question in their endeavor is the evolution of the individual producing it. Thus their approach to painting is in emphasizing its deepest, most subtle qualities, while trying to strip away everything that is unessential.

John Aslanidis explores the ways in which harmony and disharmony, order and chaos, co-exist as he contrasts issues of proximity and reverberation. A colorful myriad of densely interpenetrating lines confound the limits of the visual and produce a sonic resonance. He desires, in his words, to capture a “fragment of infinity”. The insistent repetition of his perceptual abstractions effectively disarms the viewer’s perceiving apparatus.

Susann Brännström’s works are more gestural, and synthesize abstract painterliness with Surrealist motifs. Her paintings deal with formal issues while also being loaded with psychological content, and make use of a simple construct where color, form, and composition become their three most important elements. Avoiding formalism through a breakdown of the painter’s idiom, the result becomes a merging of different pictorial structures with nontraditional painting styles that open up exciting new worlds of meaning.

Peter Köhler invites the viewer into a world immersed in folklore, yet rich in contemporary awareness. His paintings freely cross the line between abstraction and figuration, and these paintings give as much credence to psychological states as they do to physical reality. Mr. Köhler is very aware of the brutal yet comic nature of the world around us. He possesses a sense of the ironic that does not rely on pop cultural references but instead on timeless truths that have universal resonance.

Karen Schifano’s work is clearly in dialogue with the minimalist ideas of the 1960’s; being stripped down to a simplicity that reveals a clarity of thought and the formal processes it explores, however, in her own paintings a complex layering of meaning also emerges where cinematic color situations and rhythmic intervals create another level of emotional impact.

Lorraine Williams’ works appear born of color-field painting, yet are simultaneously dealing with issues both of minimalism and expressionism. There is a logical, organic process taking place here, a deconstruction of the emotional and mental spaces that underlie these images. These works have a lushness and richness of color, expression, and passion; what is not there is what makes them even stronger.

John Aslanidis was born in Sydney, Australia, and currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Susann Brännström resides in Stockholm, Sweden. She had her first one-person exhibition at Tobey Fine Arts last year. Peter Köhler also lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Karen Schifano is a native New Yorker, and currently resides in New York City. Lorraine Williams was born in Queens, NY and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Verus Painters opens at Tobey Fine Arts at 580 Broadway on November 2 and continues through December 22, 2007.

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