Gail Kolflat ______________________________________________________


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, the canvases evolve much on their own. As an artist I find it compelling to create compositions of human society.

A spontaneous abstract footprint initiates every work. It soon becomes intertwined with figurative representations derived from sketches and photographs used as sources for the primary layout of a painting. Moving onward, the sources are disregarded, as I prefer to improvise while crafting a composition, 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.” 


The paintings consist 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.

Evolution of an artist’s practice:

The video above features Gail Kolflat paintings from the CVA Gallery’s 2019 Artistic Journeys exhibition. The purpose of the exhibition was to highlight an artist’s early work with contemporary work, and phases in between, emphasizing development of craft over a number of years.