Jean Koeller, Inside and Out
Oil paintings and charcoal sketches lined the long walls of Dutoit Gallery in May’s exhibition “Jean Koeller, Inside and Out.” The exhibition documented the process, thoughts and results of the artist’s recent landscapes and related still lifes. Meditations in color relationships, shapes, pattern and lines connect Koeller’s groupings of seascapes, wood piles, and air studies.
Koeller’s woodpiles are both complicated and accessible, connected through the motion and repetition of form in a shallow space. Modest and large scale oil paintings document this subject matter in color, while the drawings and sketched-on photocopies articulate structure, perception and other ideas.
In a series of color block studies on paper, Koeller’s content becomes more abstract yet just as thoughtful. As a resident artist at Jentel in Wyoming, Koeller’s normal studio practice was challenged by the environment. Koeller began studying the space between her and the distant landscape, and the abstract idea of painting the air between these points. The resulting color block studies are a palette of blues, grays, greens and other earth tones that are documents of her observations of the Wyoming landscape and light.
From the Dutoit Gallery website: The title of the exhibition “Jean Koeller, Inside and Out” nods at the artist’s studio process. The exhibition features never before seen work that Koeller has kept hidden in her studio, large landscape abstracted and invented paintings that are ongoing. These large paintings are an extension of her more known, observed landscape paintings. These works grant a unique exploration that the artist describes as “thoughts… bodies of works that are on the way to something else.” The show expresses the more fluid side of making usually not included in the public eye. Here the process becomes evident.
Jean Koeller’s work can be seen at http://www.jeankoeller.com/