Jason Kowalski exhibition 'Heritage Traveler' depicting American built landscape of mid-20th century opens today

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Jason Kowalski exhibition 'Heritage Traveler' depicting American built landscape of mid-20th century opens today
Rest and Refuel, 2023. Oil on Panel 26 x 44 inches.

SANTA FE, NM.- Jason Kowalski is regarded for his reverential images of mid-20th century Americana. His work emanates an engaging sense of the importance of preservation and memory of a time past. LewAllen Galleries presents an exhibition of Kowalski’s exquisitely painted works celebrating these elements entitled, Heritage Traveler, which opens today with an artist reception from 5 – 7 p.m. at the gallery.

Kowalski’s paintings represent important places in the nation’s collective memory, depicting these places like flashbacks to times past, but as they exist today: old bowling alleys, roadside motels with their fading marquee signs, vintage cars and trucks, and abandoned filling stations. These works go beyond nostalgia, bespeaking the truth of time with no artificial embellishment, yet also softening a bit of time’s harshness with Kowalski’s masterful use of gentle atmospheric colors and sensitive perspective and light. He paints with meticulous realism and remarkable facility for detail, and with an authenticity that is unique and exciting.

Hidden within the paintings are a variety of subtle materials, from handwritten notes to newspaper clippings to vintage maps and advertisements, which build the stories of these roadside vestiges. For Kowalski, these found materials act both as elements of composition and as conduits for allusive poetic meaning. When taken alongside his subjects, these elements of collage invites the viewer to look closer and consider the richness of history and memory, bridging the present with the past.

Kowalski’s scenes of the highway towns and rural communities of the American countryside evoke a spirit of resilience even as his architectural subjects erode and transform with age. His affectionate treatment of these nearly forgotten places gestures toward our shared sense of American memory. These works are also deeply personal, as he scouts for artistic material while on road trips with his wife and children. “We do a lot of road trips as a family…mostly in the American West and [explore for] little towns in little corners of America that are easily forgotten.”

Jason Kowalski was born in Boynton Beach, Florida, but spent most of his childhood in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the Laguna College of Art and Design in 2009. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and publications across the United States.

LewAllen Galleries
Jason Kowalski: Heritage Traveler,
August 25th, 2023 - September 30th, 2023

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