Pavel Kapic's abstract landscapes are lit from within their
Mediterranean palette with an original and radiant energy. The subdued
light is reminiscent of Tuscany. However, the patterns of natural forms he
overlays are more complex than the quiet shapes in the Italian countryside.
Kapic’s landscapes are constructed and deconstructed memories of
meaningful places from his life. The energy in them is the powerful force
of creating one composition from fragments of his past in Prague, Italy
and New England.
As one explores Kapic’s paintings an elaborate-even Baroque-visual
language emerges. His expressionistic brushwork may evoke an orchard,
a rushing river, and a mountainous profile in the sky. However it is the
patinetcest of his thin oil technique, his color - of faded sages, Prussian
blues and maroon velvet - and his elegant instinct for what makes it all
whole - which defines his unique style. Kapic's paintings invite the viewer to hike with him through his or her own visual memories. Soon, we realize the challenge of piecing our past together. These are cultivated landscapes of a philosophical mind, deeply attached to the lands he has walked. Kapic transforms the linen canvas into a window of landscape memories. Remembering his walks as a child along The Vltava River in Prague, or the elegant architecture of the Baroque city, and his many travels in Tuscany, Kapic creates paintings like a mosaicist. Each work is a brilliant pattern made from elements of psychic and artistic meaning.
Victoria Munroe - Gallerist
Integrity, distinction and feeling are at the heart of the art of Pavel Kapic.
His paintings reach deeply into many layers of memory and highly focused glimpses of the moment, all the while given expression with great quality.
Pavel Kapic's art joins the history of art that has been given with generosity and affirmation. Art is made better by it and so are we all.
Bruce Dorfman, Painter and Instructor
New York City
MEDITERRANEAN STUDIES - Exhibition
The paintings in this exhibition constitute a body of work which records the artist’s Mediterranean experiences. While the paintings were inspired by specific coastal sites in Italy and France, when recorded in another time and place, these experiences took shape as ‘ after-images ‘. Visual impressions have been transformed into sense memories, reflecting the artist’s state of mind while working in the Mediterranean ambiance.
The medium of these mostly small paintings is oil on gesso based canvas. The crystallized light of the Mediterranean region is captured in fragmented color areas, pale and vibrant, sometimes made tactile by allowing the underlying texture of the gesso to show through, while overlaying it with fresco-like surface. Here we can see traces of the painter’s early training in sculpture. Some forms are purely geometric while others, foliate, suggest a jungle atmosphere. Gestural triangles and trapezoidal patterns thrust forward imposing structure on the more amorphous areas of color. At the same time these gestural lines hover on the surface of the canvas like reflections from an outside source. Occasionally a linear, more calligraphic surface appears Japanese inspired. In fact, the group itself resembles a collection of Haiku, each one a momentary glimpse of a lost image. Some of the larger works become objects, like Medieval or Oriental hangings.
Most of the effects are created through color; blues with ochre and deep wine or
related earth tones create enamel-like surfaces or evoke the warmth of terra-cotta
rooftops. Often, by cutting off the larger forms with the frame, a continuum is implied
beyond the inner boundaries as though we are viewing the world trough a peep-hole
or a camera obscura. The images are suffused so as to seem projected rather then
received by the viewer. This effect is due to the apparent spontaneity of technique;
colors seem to have been applied only moments ago.
These are the painter’s memories of Mediterranean. The tartness of citrus or the cool greens of a field in Provence are distilled for later tasting. Different seasons, at different times of day were seen, buried, excavated and reincarnated. The effect resembles a sudden and spontaneous flash like lightning, a flickering after-image as when we come into a darkened roof from sunlight, the sun is etched on our inner lids.
Lea Mendelsohn, Art Historian & Critic
The landscapes, portraits and abstract compositions of Pavel Kapic can be compared to the highly animated juxtaposition of color and form found in the classical music of his native Prague.
His most significant contribution to contemporary painting resides in his unification and development of the expressionist aesthetic of recent history with a reinterpretation of the picturesque tradition of the 18th century.
Kapic’s strikingly asymmetrical compositions, achieved through multiple vanishing points in his landscape painting or exuberant line in his portraiture and abstract works, are imbued with subdued color that combine restrained chromatic classicism with a romantic attachment to serpentine form. This aesthetic has a correspondence to the colorations seen in central European folk art and the music of such notable Czech composers as Antonin Dvorák and Bohuslav Martinú.
His oil paint is applied in thin glazes- often one above another- forming intriguing
weaves of translucent color. The texture of his paintings is generated through layered
brushwork rather than impasto modeling.
The multiple angles of his landscape views, expressive physiognomies or abstract
patterning, underscore not only the painter’s response to a location, person or concept
but also allude to a larger pantheistic vision of the world.
Kapic conflates several life experiences in his art. He is aware of the cultural
importance of alchemy in relation to his native city, once a center of this speculative
metaphysical science. Consequently a regard for sympathetic magic is part of his
The city is also known for its magnificent Baroque architecture. The artist’s teleological sense of form, space and distance originates in this architectural setting.
His art combines and celebrates a balance between the aesthetic ideals of 18th century “vedute” painting in his landscapes with the nervous energy of the modern mind made evident in his neo-expressionist figuration and abstraction.
Kevin Costello, Art Teacher and Critic