Jeff Kowatch, born in California in 1965, moved to Belgium fifteen years ago after working in New York for about ten years. He developed a colourist painting marked by the great American abstracts, from Mark Rothko to Brice Marden and, for the technique, by the great Flemish painters, Rembrandt in particular, whose recipes for linseed oil he has reclaimed, which give his painting a particular effect of depth and transparency, typical of the northern glazes.
Recently, Kowatch has developed a body of oil bars on Dibonds featuring large-format works that catch the eye through the use of generous shapes and incredibly bright and warm colours with superimposed layers. First, we see abstract shapes before we identify this or that contour of fruits and vegetables stacked one on top of the other. Today’s still lifes made with oil sticks. A recent technique that allows the use of oil paint in dry forms, such as greasy pencils, the warmth of the colours in more
“Jeff Kowatch testifies to a research as demanding as it is original: that of world music. Sometimes thundering and fierce; sometimes delicate in its polyphonies. A world of light that evokes both the late Monet and his magical water lilies and the mystical Rothko who unravels in his pure fields of colours the diversity of a world dedicated to the spiritual alone. Between the jubilant assumption of the luxuriant pastels and the calm meditation of the large paintings where the forms find their balance, the same breath passes. »
Michel Draguet Director General of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, extract from the text “Colorful fullness and masquerade”, published in the catalog “Jeff Kowatch Full Circle” 2018