Alex Couwenberg

Over that last decade, Alex Couwenberg has developed a signature style of painting where he builds upon layers of paint while also exposing his under painting. His process, an additive and reductive series of moves and passes, creates multilayered environments that are deep and sensual. His technique is partly a reflection on the artist’s relationship with his personal and cultural history as well as an intention to find and create a middle ground between expressionism and hardedge abstraction.

Couwenberg’s newest paintings continue to explore “process” and the “moment” through tightly controlled compositions of paint and mark making, creating images that are inspired by the elements indigenous to his surroundings.  Couwenberg’s work gives a nod and pays homage to the historical styles of the visual language used by hard-edge, geometric abstractionist, the Finish Fetish and Light and Space artists who were influential in shaping the aesthetic of Los Angeles and Southern California art during the 1950’s to the 1970’s. His paintings reference and suggest influences from custom car culture, surfing, skateboarding, and music, at the same time glossed over with the sensibility of mid-century modernist design. However, not intending to replicate, Couwenberg uses Eames-era design and hard edge geometric abstraction as points of departure for creating his paintings. He harnesses these ideas into harmonious results: asymmetric compositions of color with beautiful surfaces that can be dynamic or quiet and elegant, presenting a kind of contemplative soliloquy reflecting the visual landscape of the world around him.

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Video Interviews

Artist Information

Artist Website: alexcouwenberg.com

Born and raised in Southern California, painter Alex Couwenberg creates images that are inspired by the elements integral to his surroundings. From Los Angeles, Couwenberg’s work references and suggests the aesthetic associated with mid-century modernism, car culture, skateboards, and surfboards. Not to leave out, the paintings pay homage to the historical styles of post-war art making associated with Los Angeles and Southern California throughout the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Couwenberg’s paintings give a nod towards the Hard-edge abstractionists, the finish fetish, and the light and space artists. Not content to replicate, he uses the sensibility of Eames-era design and hard-edge geometric abstraction as points of departure for creating paintings. His process, an additive and reductive series of moves and passes, creates multilayered environments that are deep and sensual. He harnesses these ideas into harmonious results, reflecting the visual landscape of his environment.

A graduate from the Art Center College of Design and The Claremont Graduate School, Couwenberg worked under the guidance of Karl Benjamin, one of the leading figures in the Southern California based school of Hard-edge geometric abstraction. Benjamin was instrumental in the development of his painting style, process, and philosophy. A Southern California native, Couwenberg naturally embraced this sensibility and applied it to his art making practices. By instilling the discipline and work ethic associated with these philosophies into his process, the paintings began to mature and develop a visual voice. The vocabulary references the dedication toward craft, process, and the progression of concepts and techniques.

Couwenberg’s paintings have been shown in several solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. His work can be found in numerous public, private, corporate, and museum collections around the world. Recent museum acquisitions include the The Frederick Weisman Arts Foundation in LA, the Long Beach Museum of Art, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Laguna Art Museum, Crocker Museum of Art, and the Daum Museum in Missouri. In 2007 Couwenberg was awarded the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for his achievements in painting and was recently featured as the subject of Los Angeles based film maker Eric Minh Swenson, which focuses on the artists life and studio practices.

                                                       

Alex Couwenberg

Residence: Los Angeles, California

B. 1967

 

Education

 

1997     MFA, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA

1995     BFA, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023     Intersection, with Stefan Duerst, Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, BC

2023     Artfully Spaced Gallery, Title TBD, with Cara Barer, Los Angeles, CA

2022     “Superglide”, William Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2020     Uban Geometry, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018     Geometric Generation, with Curtist Cutshaw, Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, BC

2018     Chevrons, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018     Collaboration, with Steve Diet Geodde, Coagula Curatorial, Los Angeles, CA

2017     Long Play, SCAPE Gallery, Corona del Mar, CA

2017     In Pono, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2016      “Left at 69’s”, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY
2016      “Geometrie de Luce”, Artesilva, Mila, Italy
2016      “what we do is secret”, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2016      New Paintings, Gilman Contemporary, Ketchum, Idaho

2016      New Paintings, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2014      California, Jennifer Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2014      Inform / form, Launch gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013     Swell, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO
2013     Cross Current, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2012      Paintings, Jennifer Kostuik, Vancouver, BC

2012     Alex Couwenberg and Karl Benjamin:

Influence, Divergence, & the Evolution of an Idea, William Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2011      Trajectory, David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM

2011      New Paintings, William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2011      New Paintings, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2011      New Paintings, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2011      Over the Years, Metro Gallery, Pomona, CA

2010      New Paintings, Markel Fine Arts, New York, NY

2009      A Bit Left of All Right, William Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2009      Singles, Gilman Contemporary, Ketchum, ID

2009      Arcade, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2009      Morphic Traces, San Luis Obispo Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA

2009      Waimea, Royale Projects, Indian Wells, CA

2008      Working Space, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2008      Bypassing Referents, Markel Fine Arts, New York, NY

2007      Cosmetically, Aesthetically, Unregrettably, d.e.n. Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

2007      New Paintings, Gilman Contemporary, Ketchum, ID

2007      New Paintings, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2006      New Paintings, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2006      Black Labeled, Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2006      Alex Couwenberg: a ten year evolution, University Gallery, CSUS, Turlock, CA

2005      de Stad, Markel Fine Arts, New York, NY
2005      Metropolitan, 455 Market Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005      tussenruimte, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2004      Primo, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2003      Paintings, Gensler, San Francisco, CA

2003      Alexander Couwenberg; a seven year survey, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

2002      New Paintings, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2001      New Paintings, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022     25th Anniversary Exhibition, Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, BC

2021     Cross Currents, William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2018     Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA

2018     SOIL Gallery, Seattle, WA

2016      20 Years Kostuik Gallery, Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, BC

2016     Art Changes Things, Donkey Mill Art Center, Holualoa, HI

2016     New Masters Vs. Modern Masters, Heitsch Galerie, Munich, Germany

2016     Forethought, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2016     Diosyncratic Fields, East Hawaii Cultural Center, Hilo, HI

2015     Artists of the Film MANA, Villa di Donato, Napoli, IT

2015     LA / SF, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2015     New Abstraction, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY
2014     Shift – five decades of Contemporary California Painting, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA

2014     Celebrating The Spirit of Summer, Lancaster MOAH, Lancaster, CA

2014     LA Abstract, Red Pipe Gallery, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

2013     Mas Attack 2, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA

2013     Mama, Gallery MELD, Kailua-Kona, HI

2011     The Gleam in the Young Bastards Eye, William Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2011     Chain Letter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2011     Tel-Art-Phone, Beacon Art Center, Los Angeles, CA

2011     A Generous Spirit, Robert and Francis Fullerton Museum of Art, CSUSB, CA

2010     Karl Benjamin: Under the Influence, Royal Projects, Indiana Wells, CA

2010     Over Paper, Bruno Davis Gallery, St. Louie, MO

2010     Line, Curve, Form, David Richards Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

2010     Claremont Modernism, OBJCT Gallery, Claremont, CA

2010     WHAT, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2009     Enduring Legacy, Claremont Museum of Art, Claremont, CA

2009     West/East, Royale Projects, Indian Wells, CA

2009     Rant, Design Loves Art, Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA

2009     Art Auction, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

2009     Los Angeles Currents, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2009     Summer Group Show, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2009     ONA 2X2, Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA

2008     Liquid Light, Museum of Design Art and Architecture, Culver City, CA

2008     Between the Lines, William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2008     15 Years, 15 Artists, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2008     Art Auction, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

2008     The Finish Fetish, Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA

2008     Keeping It Straight, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

2008     Works on Paper, Gilman Contemporary, Ketchum, ID

2007     West Coast Abstraction, Peter Blake Galley, Laguna Beach, CA

2007     Liquid Light, dba256 Gallery, Pomona, CA

2007     Off the Grid, William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2007     Paintings Edge, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

2007     Inland Emperors, dba256 Gallery, Pomona, CA

2007     Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA

2007     Inaugural Exhibition, Gilman Contemporary, Ketchum, ID

2007     Summer Group Show, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2007     Art Auction 12, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

2007     Venice Art Walk, Venice, CA

2007     Decade, Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2007     Out of Line, Cal State Stanislaus, University Gallery, Turlock, CA

2007     Grey Scale, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2007     Art Auction = Stimulus, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

2007     Let There Be Light, Phantom Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

2006     Aligning With Abstract Los Angeles, d.e.n. Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

2006     Landscape Perspectives, Art + Industry, Palm Springs, CA

2006     Summer Abstraction, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2006     Monotype, d.e.n. Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

2006     2nd Gwang Hwa Moon International Arts Festival, Sejong Center, Seoul, Korea

2006     Flow: Fine Lines on Water, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2006     Flow: Fine Lines on Water, Lisa Coscino Gallery, Pacific Grove, CA

2006     Recent Acquisitions, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

2006     Border Crossing, Sopa Fine Arts, British Columbia, Canada

2006     Out of Line, Parks Exhibition Center, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, CA

2005     Inaugural Exhibition, Sopa Fine Arts, British Columbia, Canada

2005     A Common Thread, Soho Myriad, Atlanta, GA

2005     Out of Line, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

2005     Out of Line, Brandstater Gallery, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA

2005     Abstract Los Angeles, Louisiana Tech University Galleries, Ruston, LA

2005     Art Auction 11, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

2005     Theories: LA Paint, Post, Los Angeles, CA

2005     Venice Art Walk, Venice, CA

2005     Monothon, 2005, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

2004     Luster, Gensler, San Francisco, CA

2004     Abstract Work from the Permanent Collection, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

2004     Continental Divide: LA/NYC, Planet Thailand, Brooklyn, NY

2004     Abstract Los Angeles, Soho Myriad, Atlanta, GA

2004     20th Anniversary Exhibition, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2003     No Chaser; Straight Ahead Abstract Painting, Post, Los Angeles, CA

2003     Group Show, Dolby/Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2003     Black and White, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2003     New Paintings, Soho Myriad, Atlanta, GA Venice Art Walk, Venice, CA

2003     Art Auction 10, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

2002     California Dream, Il Museo I Magli di Sarezzo, Brescia, Italy

2002     Summer Group Show,Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2002     Sam Maloof and Friends, dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, CA

2001     New American Paintings Group Show, OSP Gallery/Open Studio Press, Boston, MA

2001     Homage: Roland Reiss, Claremont Graduate School alumni show, dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, CA 2001Art Auction 9, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

2001     Monothon, 2001, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA S

2001     Sequence, Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery, Walnut, CA

2000     Art 2000: Applauding Revolutionary Talent, Millard Sheets Gallery, Pomona, CA

 

Awards

2007     Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant

Selected Museum Collections

Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA

California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, GA

Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO

Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, GA

Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA

Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

Nsuhi-Umeda Art Foundation, Tokyo, Japan

Pitzer College Museum Collection, Claremont, CA Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA

Pomona College, Claremont, CA

Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

Robert and Francis Fullerton Museum of Art, California State University San Bernadino, CA

University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

Bibliography

2018     The Thought Provokers, Voyage LA, December, 2018

2018     Brewer, Gary, “The Language of Style”, Art and Cake, September, 2018

2018     Osberg, Annabel, “Alex Couwenberg and Steve Diet Goedde”, Artillery, February, 2018

2017     Goldner, Liz, “Alex Couwenberg at SCAPE”, Art and Cake, November, 2017

2017     Fernandez, Jennifer, “Warm Modernism”, Architectural Digest, April, 2017

2016     Nys Dambrot Shana, “In the Next Dimension”, 2016

2016     Melrod, George, “Left At 69’s” @ Lyones Weir Gallery, review, Art LTD. November, 2016

2015     Daichendt, Jim, Byways, catalogue essay, March, 2015

2014     Nys Dambrot, Shana, Whitehot Magazine, August 2014

2014     Enholm, Molly, ArtScene, May 2014

2013     Roth, David, “Alex Couwenberg at Andrea Schwartz, “Square Cylinder”, December 2013

2013     Senn, David, “Crosscurrents”. Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, 2013

2013     Lucas-Zenk, Carolyn, West Hawaii Today, July 2013

2012     Frank, Peter, Huffington Post, January 2012

2012     Moret, A., Art Ltd, March 2012

2012     Frank, Peter, Fabrik, January 2012

2012     Artweek LA., January 2012

2011     Carasso, Roberta, Coast Magazine, “Colors, Shapes, and Light, October 2011

2011     Walsh, Daniella, Riviera Magazine, Spring 2011

2011     Davies, Stacy, “OC Weekly”, October 2011

2011     Walters, Daniela, Beverly Hills Lifestyle”, Creating Balance”, Spring 2011

2011     Roth, David, Square Cylinder, February 2011

2011     Yood, James, Critic, Writer, Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue Essay, 2011

2011     California Home and Design, “Left Coast Looks”, February 2011

2010     Dambrot, Shana Nys, Flavorpill New York, “Alex Couwenberg, New Paintings,” March 2010 Zimmermann, Mark, Art: Theories and Provocations, March 2010

2010     Artdaily.org March 2010

2009     Biller, Steven, Palm Springs Life, “Game On: The Arcade Paintings”, November 2009

2009     Nichols, Kimberly, Desert Magazine, “Art for Now”, November 2009

2009     Biller, Steven, Palm Springs Life, November 2009

2009     Melrod, George, ART ltd, “Under the Radar” May 2009

2009     Idaho Mountain Express, March 4, 2009

2009     Biller, Steven, Palm Springs Life, February 2009

2009     Frank, Peter, THE Magazine Los Angeles, February 2009

2009     Meyers, Holly, Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2009

2008     Art & Culture, Critic’s Pick, Winter/Spring 2008

2008     Harris, Freddie, Sun Valley Magazine, “Gallery Openings,” Winter 2008

2008     California Home and Design, “Art and Antiques,” September 2008

2008     Gay, Malcolm, Riverfront Times, “St. Louis Art Capsules,” May 20, 2008

2008     Grossman, Emily, Art and Living, “The Straight Take”, March 20, 2008

2008     The New York Sun, “Brother Culture” January 25, 2008

2008     Biller, Steven, Palm Springs Life, “Critics Pick,” January, 2008

2008     Davies, Stacy, IE Weekly, “Everything Old Is New Again,” January 17, 2008

2007     Myers, Holly, Los Angeles Times, “Like 50’s lounge music, remixed,” August 17, 2007

2007     Gleason, Mat, ArtScene, July/August 2007 Artdaily.org, July 2007

2007     Tibbitz, Ashley, Flavorpill, July 17-23, 2007

2007     ART ltd., “Pulse,” July 2007

2007     Bossick, Karen, Wood River Journal, “Buzzer, Gilman Contemporary”, August 1, 2007

2007     Carasso, Roberta, Coast Magazine, September, 2007

2007     Frank, Peter, LA Weekly, “Grids Unlocked,” Art Pick of the Week, June 6, 2007

2007     Jit Fong Chin, SqueezeOC, “Grey Matters”, January, 2007

2007     Walsh, Daniella, Orange County Register, “Shades of Gray”, January 14, 2007

2007     Carasso, Roberta, Laguna News Post, “Artwaves” January 4, 2007

2007     Walsh, Daniella, Riviera Magazine, “The Radar Art” January, 2007

2007     Rupe, Cynthia, SqueezeOC, Picks of the Week, January 4, 2007

2007     Mckenna, John Page, Palm Springs Life, Winter/Spring 2007

2006     Melrod, George, Art Ltd., “Culver City: Chelsea West?” October, 2006

2006     Cripps, Mick, Lifescapes, “Artist Profile,” September, 2006

2006     Allen, Bobbie, Coastline Pilot, “Seven Abstractionists for summer,” July 6, 2006

2005     Frank, Peter, LA Weekly, “Art Pick of the Week,” October 2005

2005     Muckenfuss, Mark, Press Enterprise, Riverside Museum Monothon Event, September, 2005

2005     Simou, Alexandra, New York Sun, January 26, 2005

2004     Kugelman, Kerry, Art Circles, fall 2004

2004     Cullum, Jerry, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Review, August 29, 2004

2004     Gilbert, Debora, Greenline, March, 2004

2004     Gleason, Mat, Artscene, February, 2004

2004     Frank, Peter, LA Weekly, “Art pick of the week,” February, 2004

2004     Novick, La Rue, Daily Bulletin, February, 2004

2003     Litz, Paige, Los Angeles Times, “Going Beneath the Surface,” October 10, 2003

2003     Moyle, Andrew, 210 Magazine, October, 2003

2002     Nelson, Harold, Director, Long Beach Museum of Art, Statement, 2002

2002     Alfred, E. Anne, Asst. Director, Riverside Museum of Art, Statement, 2002

2002     Dennison, Lisa, New American Paintings, vol. 37, 2001-02

2001     Roth, Charlene, Artweek, “Alexander Couwenberg at Ruth Bachofner Gallery,” March, 2001

2001     Frank, Peter, LA Weekly, “Art pick of the week,” January, 2001

2000     Johnstone, Mark, ART 2000: Applauding Revolutionary Talent, Millard Sheets Gallery Catalog

Visiting Artist / Lecturer

 

Donkey Mill Art Center, Holualoa, HI
Summer Arts, California State University Monterey, Monterey, CA
Modernism Week 2009, The Krisel House, Palm Springs, CA

Paintings Edge, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, CA Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA California State University Stanislaus, Turlock, CA Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, CA Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, Pomona, CA

Alex Couwenberg & Stefan Duerst
Intersection, 2023 Press Release PDF Download 

Alex Couwenberg & Curtis Cutshaw
Geometric Generation Press Release PDF Download 

The Kostuik Gallery is excited to introduce our September Exhibition of new paintings by Alex Couwenberg and Curtis Cutshaw.  Geometric Generation combines accomplished painters who express addictive and reductive paint techniques to create formal compositions of movement and textures all through highly  skilled paint application unique to each artist.California based Alex Couwenberg pays homage to the historical styles of the visual language used by hard-edge, geometric abstractionist, the Finish Fetish and Light and Space artists who were influential in shaping the aesthetic of Los Angeles and Southern California art during the 1950’s to the 1970’s. His paintings reference and suggest influences from custom car culture, surfing, skateboarding, and music, at the same time glossed over with the sensibility of mid-century modernist design.

(download PDF for complete Press Release)

Artistic Intent

Over that last decade, Alex Couwenberg as developed a signature style of painting where he builds upon layers of paint while also exposing his under painting. His process, an additive and reductive series of moves and passes, creates multilayered environments that are deep and sensual. His technique is partly a reflection on the artist’s relationship with his personal and cultural history as well as an intention to find and create a middle ground between expressionism and hardedge abstraction. Couwenberg’s 2014 paintings continue to explore “process” and the “moment” through tightly controlled compositions of paint and mark making, creating images that are inspired by the elements indigenous to his surroundings. Couwenberg’s work gives a nod and pays homage to the historical styles of the visual language used by hard-edge, geometric abstractionist, the Finish Fetish and Light and Space artists who were influential in shaping the aesthetic of Los Angeles and Southern California art during the 1950’s to the 1970’s. His paintings reference and suggest influences from custom car culture, surfing, skateboarding, and music, at the same time glossed over with the sensibility of mid-century modernist design. However, not intending to replicate, Couwenberg uses Eames-era design and hard edge geometric abstraction as points of departure for creating his paintings. He harnesses these ideas into harmonious results: asymmetric compositions of color with beautiful surfaces that can be dynamic or quiet and elegant, presenting a kind of contemplative soliloquy reflecting the visual landscape of the world around him.

1070 Homer Street,
Vancouver, BC, V6B 2W9, Canada

T. 604.737.3969
E. info@kostuikgallery.com