Artist Statement

Born to and raised by Dutch-Indonesian parents in Southern California, Couwenberg spoke both languages at home and was taught to understand and appreciate the craft of Indonesia, and the art associated with the Dutch masters.  His childhood was thus influential in the development of his career in visual art. Together, with the aesthetics of his California experience (surf, skate, and hot rod culture), Couwenberg’s paintings visually layer archetypes or reinterpreted forms into a contemporary conversation with mid-century modernism.

For Couwenberg, the build up of layers, coupled with exposed underpainting, represents the artist’s reflection on his relationship with his personal and cultural history; he intends to find and create a middle-ground between expressionism and hard-edge abstraction. Beautiful surfaces, bold minimalism of color, and asymmetric compositions produce works that are muscular and dynamic, or quiet and elegant, presenting a kind of contemplative soliloquy.

Couwenberg’s formal art education initiated with an Illustration Degree from the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, California, and culminated with an MFA from Claremont Graduate School, working under the mentorship of several senior painters most notably hard-edge California abstractionist, Karl Benjamin. Couwenberg has shown throughout the United States, Europe and Asia in solo and group exhibitions. His work is in several museum collections, most recently in the permanent collections of the Laguna Art Museum, CA, and the Pomona College Museum of Art, CA, and has been included in Out of Line, a traveling exhibition curated by the Riverside Art Museum CA, which focuses on the contributions of non-objective painting in Southern California. He is currently featured in a two person exhibition in Los Angeles held in conjunction with the Getty Museum’s “Pacific Standard Time” project.  In 2007, Couwenberg was awarded the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for his achievements in painting.

Artist Biography

Born and raised in Southern California, painter Alex Couwenberg creates images that are inspired by the elements indigenous 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, paying 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. Couwenbergs 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 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 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 filmmaker Eric Minh Swenson, which focuses on the artist's life and studio practices. Couwenberg recently exhibited a body of paintings in a two person show along with his mentor Karl Benjamin in Los Angeles. The show was part of the Getty Museum's ongoing “Pacific Standard Time” project highlighting Southern California artists and their contributions towards art making.


Ahi – Price Upon Request
Cascada – Price Upon Request
Pikake – $4,800
Hot Curl – $3,000
Superdrag – $3,400
Fishnets & Cigarettes – Price Upon Request
Riviera – $7,500.00
Jane – $3,800.00
Kea – $17,000.00

01, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed
02, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed
03, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed
04, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed
05, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed
06, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed
07, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed
08, 2018 – $2,600 Unframed

Cinematic – Sold
Booster – $9,600.00

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