Buster Levi Gallery is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition of paintings and works on paper by George Knaus (1928-2015). The exhibition will focus primarily on landscapes and still lifes created throughout his long career.
The work of George Knaus was deeply involved with his surroundings. Whether the subject is based near his studio or other places, his observational skills are obvious. Knaus had a keen eye for detail that is not limited to texture. His interest is centered on details of peculiarity such as the position of a hand turning the page in a book or the angle of an unoccupied chair in a room. He also emphasized seemingly arbitrary spatial and compositional relationships. This is especially true of his work in still life. Often including mirrors, it is hard to get your bearings spatially. In ‘Still Life with 2 1/2 Mirrors’; two paper cups, an espresso pot, various pieces of cloth sit on a table. Except for the reflection in the central mirror, it is difficult to understand the logical sequence of space in the painting. The mirror on the right side of the painting seems to reflect not only the actual objects but also some of the reflections in the central mirror and the one to the left. Furthermore, the spatial depth is different in each mirror, yet they appear to be located on the same plane. Additionally, different viewing angles are used throughout the work making it appear as if your eye is physically traveling throughout the painting.
Knaus’ landscapes also contain compositional and spatial exploration, though rarely in a single work. More often, a similar landscape is explored in a number of works either from different viewing angles, or under different light conditions or at different times of the year. The application of paint in the landscapes is more varied than the still lives and the use of color is often more directly allied with the depiction of light. As they developed over the years, the brushwork became firmer, value contrast greater and the rendering of space more defined. This is especially evident in his late watercolors. Knaus often chose dense fields or wooded areas and through his use of color and value navigated the space and specific lighting conditions. This combined with multiple layers of paint and varied marks create rich paintings infused with life.
George Knaus studied Painting and Printmaking at the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School. He was an artist/teacher at the Northwestern Regional High School #7 in Falls River, Connecticut and Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. He lived and painted in Gardiner, New York.
The opening reception will be on Friday February 5, 2016 from 6-8 pm. There will also be celebration to commemorate George’s life on Saturday February 6, 2016 from 2-6 pm. The show will run through Sunday, February 28, 2016. Buster Levi Gallery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm.