Peter Krausz: (No) Man’s Land

Los Angeles, California – Forum Gallery is pleased to announce its second Los Angeles exhibition of the work of Montreal-based artist Peter Krausz, from January 9 through February 28, 2009, with an opening reception for the artist on Friday evening, January 9, from 7-9:00 p.m.

The exhibition consists of fifteen vibrant and visceral paintings of varying sizes, all of which are executed in secco, Krausz’ artistic medium of choice and an ancient painting technique used centuries ago. Unlike the more familiar fresco, in which pigments are applied to a wet surface, Krausz creates his secco surfaces using marble powder and acrylic gels, and then paints using pulverized pigments in an egg-based emulsion. Numerous transparent layers yield the intensity of color for which the artist’s work is known. By using this secco technique Krausz achieves remarkable luminosity and also richer surface textures and perdurability than could result in any other way.

The title of this latest exhibition, (No) Man’s Land, relates directly to Krausz’ long-standing preoccupation with the concept of borders, the frontiers that sometimes follow natural geographical features but which are often arbitrarily, even brutally, imposed on nature, landscapes, and human beings. This theme began with Krausz’ surreptitious border crossing while escaping with his family from Eastern Block Romania in 1969, and endured as a prominent subject in many of his paintings and photographs, including those from his Berlin Series of 1987-1989.

The border motif also relates to Krausz’ interest in man’s interrelationship with nature as it exists specifically in the Mediterranean basin. The artist has explored this theme in several other series executed and exhibited over the past twenty years such as Landscape and Memory, (De) Natura Humana, and, more recently, Helen’s Exile. (No) Man’s Land takes, as its visual source, the island of Cyprus where, for the past 35 years, a Dead Zone (as it is called by the Greeks) cuts a brutal and arbitrary wound across cultivated fields, villages and even individual houses. In Krausz’ paintings swaths of uncultivable terrain extend before the historically fecund land of old, an evocative manifestation of mankind’s ongoing difficulty to live harmoniously with the natural world.

Peter Krausz was born in Romania in 1946 and graduated from the Bucharest Academy of Fine Arts in 1969. He emigrated to Montréal, Canada in 1970 and was the curator of the Saidye Bronfman Centre Art Gallery (Montréal) from 1980-1991. He joined the faculty of the University of Montréal in 1991, and is now a tenured Professor of Fine Art in the Art History department. The artist has received numerous prestigious grants from the Canadian Fine Arts Council and the Québec Ministry of Cultural Affairs. His work is included in many important collections, including the Musée d’art Contemporain, Montréal; Musée du Québec; Royal Bank of Canada; Citi Bank, New York; Air Canada; and the Jewish Museum, New York.

Location: Los Angeles