Kobaslija at George Adams Gallery
This summer George Adams Gallery will present new large-scale
paintings by Amer Kobaslija. Following his debut exhibition
at the gallery earlier this year featuring small-scale paintings
of his studio, this exhibition will introduce six new oils of
the artist's studio that range in size from single panel paintings
5x4 feet to a nearly life-size triptych 7x12 feet.
Kobaslija favors vertiginous perspectives and this
sensation is greatly enhanced by his shift to the larger scale.
Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye), 2006, for example, presents
a cluttered studio -- paint encrusted palette, paint splattered
floor, photographs and paintings covering the walls, a tripod-mounted
camera in the center of the room -- seen from above. The skewed
bird's eye-view not only reveals the artists working method,
but also draws attention to and intensifies the complex ecosystem
of the artist's cramped quarters. In contrast, Door View, 2005,
also a triptych and one of the largest paintings in the exhibition
at just over 7x9 feet, starkly depicts the studio as if abandoned
with bare whitewalls and the door left ajar.
Amer Kobaslija was born in Bosnia in 1975.
He received his BFA from the Ringling School of Art and Design
in Florida and his MFA from Montclair University in New Jersey.
In 2005, Kobaslija was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant.
in Review; Amer Kobaslija
By Ken Johnson
Published: June 30, 2006
Large-Scale Studio Paintings
George Adams Gallery
525 West 26th Street, Chelsea
Through Aug. 18
It's not what you paint, but how you paint. That
might be the motto of Amer Kobaslija, a young artist from Bosnia
who has a recent M.F.A. degree from Montclair State University.
Mr. Kobaslija makes paintings of his studio, a small, windowless,
white-walled room of the sort commonly provided to graduate
students by state universities. Working on panels joined into
diptychs or triptychs measuring up to 7 feet by 12 feet, he
paints intensely realistic, exhaustively detailed pictures of
the room and its contents as if viewed from a corner near the
Because of their near life-size scale, skewed perspectives
and convincing spatial illusions, the paintings induce a sensation
of vertigo. Mr. Kobaslija's photographically assisted attention
to detail enhances the effect. Draw closer, however, and the
illusion collapses into sensuously busy surfaces. Stains, paint
marks and footprints on the floors turn large areas into passages
of pure painterly abstraction.
The paintings have autobiographical intrigue, too,
as the contents of the room, including painting supplies and
personal stuff, like clothes, keys, a cellphone, a CD player
and food and drink containers, evoke the life of a contemporary
artist. (Joe Fig's miniature models of artists' studios come
to mind.) And there is a spiritual dimension: the studio is
like a monk's cell, a place to practice Zen-like attentiveness
to ordinary reality.