September 14, 1951 |
New York City, New York
|Awards||Joan Mitchell Prize in Painting, the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in Painting, the Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship in Painting, the Elizabeth Foundation, New York Prize in Painting and the Benjamin Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design Museum, New York.|
Gary Komarin (born 1951) is an American artist. Born in New York City, Komarin is the son of a Czech architect and Viennese writer. Like many of the best artists of his generation he is indebted to the New York School, especially his mentor Philip Guston with whom he studied at Boston University.
Guston’s influence is evident in Komarin’s mergence of drawing and painting often breaking the picture plane of his rich and elegantly composed color fields with an assortment of private iconic cake and vessel-like objects. According to the New York Times article by Barry Schwabsky, “Guston’s lesson in cultivating the unknown has clearly stuck with Mr. Komarin. And on a more superficial level, the teacher’s peculiar sense of form can also still be traced in his former student’s work – in the way Mr. Komarin’s bulbous forms can seem to echo, in an abstract way, the cigars, cyclopean heads and naked light bulbs in Guston’s paintings.” 
Komarin prefers non-art industrial canvas tarps and drop cloths as opposed to traditional painting media and materials. He builds layered surfaces with latex house paint mixed with spackle and water. The house paint offers hybrid colors that seem slightly ‘off’ and the spackle creates a beautiful matte surface. Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that “from these seemingly unlovely methods Komarin gets paintings that vibrate with historical memory, echoing such things as Matisse’s driest most empty pictures, Robert Motherwell’s spare abstractions of the 1970’s, or the early New Mexico and Berkely paintings of Richard Diebenkorn.”
Komarin has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. In 1996, Komarin’s work was included in a pivotal exhibition at 41 Greene Street in New York City, along with work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Philip Guston and Bill Traylor. In 2008, he had a solo museum exhibition at the Musee Kiyoharu Shirakaba in Japan. The exhibition and catalogue, Moon Flows Like a Willow, was orchestrated by the Yoshii Foundation in Tokyo with galleries in New York, Tokyo and Paris.
Gary Komarin has been honored with the Joan Mitchell Prize in Painting, the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in Painting, the Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship in Painting, the Elizabeth Foundation, New York Prize in Painting and the Benjamin Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design Museum, New York.
Articles and reviews of Komarin’s work have appeared in the New York Times, Art in America and Arts Magazine among others. His work may be found in many noted museum, corporate and public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Denver Art Museum, the Museum South Texas, Corpus Christi; the Montclair Art Museum; the Newark Museum; the Zimmerli Museum; the Yoshii Foundation, Tokyo; the Arkansas Museum of Contemporary Art; Boston University Museum of Fine Arts; the Microsoft Corporation; Blount International, Atlanta; the United Bank of Houston; the Hyatt Corporation; AT&T and American Airlines.
Komarin lives and works in Roxbury, Connecticut.
- Gary Komarin at Michael Dunev Gallery http://dunev.com/artists/komarin/komarin.html
- New York Times Article: ART; Paintings Do the Talking, Without Too Many Specifics http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/27/nyregion/art-paintings-do-the-talking-without-too-many-specifics.html?scp=4&
- Gary Komarin at Bill Lowe Gallery http://lowegallery.com/artists/gary-komarin/editorial.htm
- Alexander, Steven. (Idaho, 2007). "Zone of Continuity" essay. Gail Severn Gallery Catalog, "Mexican Thoughts."
- Anonymous. (Japan, 2008). Untitled Essay. Foundation Musee Kiyoharu Shirakaba Catalog, "Moon Flows Like a Willow."
- Diehl, Carol. (Houston, 2008). "The Mind and the Heart" essay. Gremillion & Co. Fine Art, Inc. Catalog, "Incident at Osbourne Grove."
- Dobbins, Hamlet. (Zurich, 2003). Untitled Essay. Galerie Proarta Catalog, "Moon Flows Like a Willow."
- Heller, J K. (Idaho, 2008). Untitled Essay. Gail Severn Gallery Catalog, "Blue Scrubbed White."
- Isak, Helga. (Zurich, 2006). "Inner Expressions essay. Galerie Proarta Catalog, Untitled.
- Komarin, Gary. (New York, 2011). Personal catalog, "Short Cakes/Stacked Cakes."
- Magnaguagno, Guido. (Zurich, 2011). "Don't Get The Blues" essay. Galerie Proarta Catalog, "Don't Get The Blues."
- Peters, Lisa, N. (New York, 2009). Untitled Essay. Spanierman Gallery Catalog, "Leandro and Luz."
- Salk, Susanna. (Idaho, 2011). Q&A with Gary Komarin. Gail Severn Gallery Catalog, "She Watched the Night Revealing."
- Schwabsky, Barry. (London, 2004). "When Paintings Hang Fire" essay. Tim Jeffries Catalog, "The Disappointed Mistress."
- Schwabsky, Barry. (Dubai, 2010). "Finding the Edges" essay. Cuadro Fine Art Gallery Catalog, "Finding the Edges."
- Waltemath, John. (London, 2006). "The Bourdon Gauge" essay. The Fine Art Society Catalog, "The Bourdon Gauge."