Monday, November 13, 2017


Lifesaver, 28" by 22", oil on birch plywood panel, 2017

Artist Statement 2017

I'm always at odds with making artist statements. I recognize the importance of explaining in written form the ideas and motivations behind the work, but a) I paint them because I cannot write them and b) writing about them distills the ideas into more definable terms when what I like about art is how un-nameable it can be. Ah well, I guess I like shows and artists grants as much as the next person so I'll play the game ;)
Here's my current stab at trying to articulate myself in written form:

Pete Kohut approaches painting as a way to explore the edges of where figuration ends and abstraction begins. While using the stripe as vehicle for mark-making, Kohut creates images that question our perception of objects in the illusionary space of the flat picture plane. Specific to his current series of paintings, the twisting forms depicted in these images hover at that moment where they are recognizable but not fully resolved, as they collide, compress, and overlap each other. Kohut's attraction to conventional materials of painting ie. oil on canvas or wood panel, acknowledges the tradition of painting but also looks forward to where painting might fit in the contemporary world.

Studio view, wips

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Stripe ed Formes

I've had a few of my colleagues and profs by my studio space in the past week to take a look at these paintings that I've been working on. I'm calling them "striped forms" now instead of striped socks because I don't necessarily want to give away my image source right away.
Everyone I've talked to has been very encouraging and don't see these as too far removed from figuration. In fact, that's an interesting part of the struggle and it may be an aspect that I can exploit ie. throw in a bit of the body back in to reinforce the impact of these paintings.
The forms are twisting and moving in a shallow but highly charged space. It is opaque and transparent, flat but also moves in and out.
The lively colours add to the movement, energy, and freedom in these works.
The next step is to size up one of these to 3' by 4' and then maybe even larger. I'm tempted to try one on canvas again, just because at the larger sizes, wood panels become a little heavy and difficult to move and store. Maybe I can tack the canvas to the wall and that would give me the resistance that I like from the wood panels. Or, I could work on a series of smaller panels and tile them together like I did with my large face paintings.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Textual future

Also here are the results of my painting project that dealt with text and painting. (yes, it's been a busy week)

A Meditation about the thingness of objects

Here's the results of my project about thing theory.
In situ

The comments were generally pretty positive. Of course, it was mentioned that in order for someone to buy the meditative aspect of the large drawing, it's gotta be 50 yards long. But some of the other comments are:
-interesting texture, a meditation
-both could be objects
-autonomous thing as object
-they both seem to speak about boundaries
-smaller piece: scale forces you to engage, play with your expectation, then you fall into it
-large piece may have worked better if the drawing extended into the roll

So what I got out of this work is that I do enjoy drawing as an art practice in itself. I loved making the large drawing as much as the small Malevich-inspired one. This project turned into more about a statement of drawing, so maybe they fail as object/things, but they work pretty well as art.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Future According to Pete

I don't think I ever shared with you the results of my painting of the future. The assignment was to make a pictorial image that depicts our vision of the future. This is mine looks like.

The image is quite large 60" by 48". Oil on canvas. I left a lot of the space and figure ambiguous because I don't really know what the future looks like, so how can I get away with depicting a solid image. Also, I like the way it takes on a dreamy, almost hallucinogenic quality. The figure is taken from a National Geographic story that had photographed several images of "Wild Man" festivals around the globe. This person was dressed up as a deer headed thing with a bright red wooly frock. Perfect reference material to depict aliens :) Next I'll be posting the results of the textual component of this assignment. Hint: it has a strong Egyptian vibe!

Okay As Is

Okay As Is, 28" by 22", oil on birch plywood, 2017


Compression, 28" by 22", oil on birch plywood, 2017

Love Cobalt Teal!!!Study

Study, 18" by 14", oil on birch plywood, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Stripes with quinacridone magenta! (love that hue name)

Study, oil on birch plywood, 18" by 14", 2017
Loving this birch plywood as a support for painting on. I like the resistance you get, kind of like painting with canvas tacked up against the wall. More of these to come!!!