Lisa Kowalski

Lisa Kowalski

Profile | Statement | Biography


Lisa Kowalski • Profile

 

Lisa Kowalski

Lisa Kowalski is not afraid to paint. With bold, fluid brush strokes and a minimal style, her paintings have a childlike freedom and a sophisticated spontaneity. Her dynamic oil paintings are infused with creative energy, an intuitive sense of color, and an innate understanding of composition. Reminiscent of the Abstract Expressionism movement of the 1940s and beyond, Kowalski unleashes the creativity of her unconscious mind through the impulsive quality of her approach, therefore making the process just as important as the painting itself. She paints what she feels, capturing the essence of herself and all she has absorbed in the world, displaying it on the canvas or board in the form of uncalculated marks, rich textures, and games of positive and negative space.

Lisa received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lisa Kowalski's studio is located in Denver Colorado.

"There is an unmitigated spontaneity driven by emotive forces, reacting intuitively, relying on chance and making arbitrary choices. The works are not meant to be narrative. I am in love with everything about the act of painting; the smell, the lushness of oil paint, color." -L Kowalski


Lisa Kowalski • Statement

Everything in life inspires me, not quite with direct interpretation, but as I see and experience faces, words, gestures, colors and shapes - all of it - I am always looking and reacting to the energy around me. It can become a self centered reflection of whatever is around that interests me rather than great issues that have to be answered objectively. All of this gets channeled and flows from brain to arm, hitting white board with that first wonderful stroke of vibrant color, and continues with adding and subtracting, stripping down to the most essential. I am in love with the eloquence of sparseness and everything to do with the act of painting: the smell, the lushness of oil paint, color. 

There is unmitigated spontaneity driven by emotive forces, reacting intuitively, chance and choice. The works are not meant to be narrative, but visual explorations. These explorations evoke sensation in the viewer that are not bounded by the literal, but can be broadly identified as physical, spiritual or psychological. The titles are personal associations. I try to work with a straightforward painter's vocabulary without pretension. I'm not interested in postmodern irony or intellectualizing about painting. 

My methods of line and stroke are deliberate, intuitively unidentified. I don't labor over works. If they start to trouble me, they need to be set aside, while I move on to the next piece. This keeps several pieces in process and the momentum keeps ideas clear. Logic and intuition are always shifting and struggling between what will be viewed and holding onto my pure intention.


Lisa Kowalski • Biography

EDUCATION

1988
Bachelor of Fine Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Visiting Artist Workshop, Painting with Raphael Ferrar

1987
Oxbow Summer Workshop, Independent Study, Saugatuck, Michigan

TRAVEL STUDIES

1988
Barcelona and Cadaques, Spain

1987
Paris, France

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Lookie Here”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014
LaFontsee Galleries, “Annual Fall Celebration”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Modern Twist”, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, "Unusual Suspects”, Douglas, Michigan

2013   
LaFontsee Galleries, “Wide View”, Douglas, Michigan

2012   
LaFontsee Galleries, “25 Year Gala”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “LG-Group”, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Color Context”, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Power of Pattern”, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Fresh Squeezed and Locally Grown”, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Act II”, Douglas, Michigan

2011    
LaFontsee Galleries, “Come Out and Play”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Fall at The Lakeshore”, Douglas, Michigan

Ironton Gallery, “New Work”, Denver Colorado

LaFontsee Galleries, “Summer Fun”, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Opening Celebration”, Douglas, Michigan

2010  
Half Dozen Gallery, "Into the Brilliance", Portland Oregon

Half Dozen Gallery, "Fog", Portland, Oregon

2009  
Half Dozen Gallery, "Art Club", Portland, Oregon

Half Dozen Gallery, "10 Paintings", Portland, Oragon

2008  
Square 101 Gallery, "New Work, New City", Denver, Colorado

Bluestone Gallery, "Recent Paintings" Denver, Colorado

2007
Fashionation at Lumin, Chicago, Illinois

Aqua Art at Miami Art Basel, Miami, Florida

BridgeartFair at Trafalgar Square, London, UK

BridgeArtFair at Art Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

BridgeArtFair at Miami Art Basel, Miami, Florida

New Paintings, Navta Schulz Gallery Chicago, Illinois

2006
LaFontsee Galleries, "Five" Grand Rapids, Michigan

Navta Schultz Gallery, "Four From Chicago: An Exhibition of Chicago-Based Gallery Artists," Chicago, Illinois

Navta Schultz Gallery, "Fresh Paint," Chicago, Illinois

2005
Water Street Gallery, "New Work", Princeton, Wisconsin

LaFontsee Galleries, "April Fools: Paintings or Prints?" Grand Rapids, Michigan

2004
LaFontsee Galleries, "UNADULTerated," Group Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2003
G2 Gallery, "Bare Walls 2003," Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Water Street Gallery, "New Work", Princeton, Wisconsin

2002
G2 Gallery, "Bare Walls 2002," Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Exhibition at EAU by Water Street Gallery, "Lisa Kowalski," Princeton, Wisconsin

Eau by Water Street Gallery, "Winter Show", Princeton, Wisconsin

Contemporary Art Workshop, "New Paintings," Chicago, Illinois

2001
LaFontsee Galleries, "No Boundaries," Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, "Emerging," Grand Rapids, Michigan

Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, "Live Coverage," Grand Rapids, Michigan

2000
LaFontsee Galleries, "New Season, New Work, New Road," Grand Rapids, Michigan

1999
Muskegon Museum of Art, "Regional 71," Muskegon, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, "Object of My Affection," Grand Rapids, Michigan

1998
Muskegon Museum of Art, "Regional 70," Muskegon, Michigan

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, "Live Coverage," Grand Rapids, Michigan

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, "Jump Start," Grand Rapids, Michigan

1997
Gallery Function Art, Pontiac, Michigan

1996
Hoeksma Gallery, Grand Haven, Michigan

1994
Carlyn Gallery, Grand Haven, Michigan

1993
Battle Creek Art Center, "New Photo Images," Battle Creek, Michigan

Tewlews Gallery, Holland, Michigan

1992
Beverly Art Center, "Arthur and Alice Baer Juried Competition," Chicago, Illinois

1990
Synergy Gallery, "Two of a Kind," Chicago, Illinois

1989
Gallery Great Lakes, "Urban Archeology," Chicago, Illinois

Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago, Illinois

1988
Beverly Art Center, "Arthur and Alice Baer Juried Competition," Chicago, Illinois

1987
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, "Traveling Fellowship Show," Chicago, Illinois

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Four Season Resort, Nevis, West Indies

Capella, Bangkok, Thailand
                                                                           
Solaire Resort & Casino, Manila, Philippines

Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg, Russia

Fox Rothschild, LLP, Denver, Colorado                                                          

Four Seasons, Denver, Colorado                                                                    

ABC Studios, set of ‘Private Practice’                                                              

Guy Savoy Restaurant, Singapore                                                                    

Sands Cotai Hotel, Macau China

The Venetian Macao Resort, Macau China

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Microsoft Corporation, Seattle WA.

Anglo Irish Bank, Boston MA

Sue Miller and Jeff Tweedy, Chicago IL

Murray and Murray Law Offices, Sandusky, OH

Steelcase, Inc., St. Louis, MO

Haworth Corporation, Holland, MI

URS Architectural, Grand Rapids, MI

Greenfield Partners, Chicago IL

Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, Salt Lake City, Utah

Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, California

Hard Rock Hotel, Hollywood, Florida

The Plaza, New York, New York

Club Quarters Bryant Park, New York, New York

Hotel Hugo, New York, New York

Four Seasons, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Kirkland & Ellis, San Francisco