As an artist I find it compelling to create compositions of human society. 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, my canvases evolve much on their own. A spontaneous abstract footprint initiates every work. It is intertwined with figurative representations derived from sketches and photographs used as sources for the primary layout of a painting. The sources are then disregarded, as I prefer to improvise from that point onward, 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.”
My work consists 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 the development of craft over a number of years.
Born in the Midwest, and raised in Winnetka Illinois, Gail Kolflat earned a BFA with Honors from Parsons School of Design in New York City. Her artistic career blossomed after developing a signature style of large-scale colorful canvases that meld abstract and representational principles.
Through the 1990s, Gail exhibited frequently, gave artist talks and demonstrations, wrote a column for the county art council's bimonthly newspaper, and maintained a robust studio practice.
At the turn of the century she took a break from art while raising her daughters. Fifteen years later, an invitation from a local university to participate in an exhibition in their gallery, sparked a complete revival in the artist’s practice. SInce then, she has produced a fresh body of work, a renewal of earlier paintings but evolved - encompassing expanded topics, modified techniques, and a distinct, mature sensibility. Her recent works portray a bold use of space and color, with themes of social commentary.
Gail Kolflat Resume
SELECT SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
Jacob Javits Federal Building, (lobby) New York City
St Peters Church, 54th Street and Lexington, Living Rm Gallery, New York City
Gallery West – Salute to Women in the Arts, Bergen County Department of Parks,
Division of Cultural Affairs
Johnson and Johnson World headquarters, Rotunda Gallery
University Club of Chicago
State House, Trenton, NJ, Office of the Secretary
Edward Williams Gallery, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Heinz W Otto Gallery, Watchung Arts Center, NJ
Crenson Gallery, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY
Harrison Library, Harrison, NY
East Haven Cultural Arts Council, Connecticut
ArtSpace 105, Monmouth Arts, Red Bank, NJ
David Brodsky Gallery, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ
Thompson Park Visitor Center, Lincroft, NJ
Winnetka Women's Club, Winnetka, Illinois
York Flournoy Ambiance, Evanston, Illinois
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
Rotunda Gallery, City Hall, New Rochelle, New York
Trenton City Museum, Ellarslie Open, New Jersey
Museum Of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts
Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, New Jersey
Lucia Gallery, New York City - National Association Of Women Artists, Soho, New York City
CALYX Cover Girls Art Show, Interstate Cultural Center, Portland, Oregon
New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, Summit, New Jersey Women's Caucus For Art, N.Y. City & Hartford, Connecticut
The "A" Gallery, Palm Desert, California
Milford Fine Arts Council, Milford, Connecticut
Greene Art Gallery, Guilford, Connecticut
National Association Of Women Artists, Annual Exhibition, NY, NY, Beatrice Jackson Memorial Award —-- Jurors: Miriam Shapiro, Mary Anne Unger, and Amei Wallach
Manhattan Arts Magazine, Award of Excellence, Cover Art Competition
Art Horizons International Art Competition, New York, Certificate Of Excellence In Painting —— Jurors: Ellen Handy, Metropolitan Museum, NYC, Illene Susan Fort, Los Angeles County Museum —— Walter Robinson, Art in America Art Critic
Artists' Liaison National Competition, Santa Monica, California, A Competition Winner
Parsons School Of Design, BFA with Honors, New York City
SELECT PUBLICATIONS AND MEDIA:
USA Today mycentraljersey.com “Artist Gail Kolflat exhibits at Watchung Arts Center” Joe Higgins CALYX, Journal of Art & Literature by Women, Painting featured on Front & Back Cover (full color)
The Star Ledger, "Art-of-the-state panoramas" by Eileen Watkins Time Capsule: A Concise Encyclopedia by Women Artists
Radio Interview, featured Artist, The Arts in Bergen County With Nell Basset
Former Editor of “ Portrait Of The Artist; Artist Profiles,” State of the Art, Monmouth County Arts Council’s bimonthly newspaper
New Jersey Network (PBS Television) ARTS TICKET