An Invitation, acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 48″, 2013
Far Away, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″, 2014
Her Thoughts They Hum, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″, 2014
Light Keepers, acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 72′, 2014
Nocturne, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″, 2013
Pheasant Keeper, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 48″, 2011
Sojourn, acrylic on canvas, 72″ x 60″, 2011
The Feast, acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 84″, 2011
Inspired by memories, inner emotions, history, and my fascination with nature and the human psyche, my paintings are replete with narrative, drawing on allegorical imagery to illustrate the parallels between human experience and the mysteries of the natural world.
The lonely, desolate American landscape encompassing the paintings’ subjects is a means to explore nature’s sacredness and a reflection of the human soul, symbolizing all things powerful, fragile, and eternal. The paintings’ real yet dreamlike scenarios serve as metaphors for the human condition, all retaining a sense of vagueness because I wish to involve and motivate viewers in uncovering the various layers of mood and meaning to form conclusions from their own perspectives, although my main idea is always before them.
Because we all share a common thread and are active participants in an ever-changing world, my work aims to remind viewers of those places that we sometimes perceive as no longer existing, and to recognize and honor them as part of our history that is worth preserving.
In juxtaposing the human form with animals and a bygone, uninhabited American landscape, I provide glimpses into “rooms”—those oftentimes chaotic places we possess internally. The rural Midwestern landscape of my home state serves as a backdrop for the staging of human emotions. The animals present are vehicles for expressing the feelings and underlying tensions suppressed behind the human mask. Symbolic explorations of the soul and events concerning our environment are expressed through the combination of these elements to transform personal ideas into universal metaphors.
About the Artist
Andrea Kowch has been described as “a powerful voice emerging, demonstrating a highly sensitive consciousness that informs a culturally laced symbolism.” Her paintings, book illustrations, and works on paper are rich in mood, allegory, and precision of medium, reflecting a wealth of influences, from Northern Renaissance and American art to the rural landscapes and vernacular architecture of Kowch’s native Michigan.
Born in Detroit, in 1986, Kowch attended the College for Creative Studies as the recipient of a Walter B. Ford II Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude in 2009 with a bachelor in fine arts degree in illustration. She began receiving notice early on. In 2003, at age 17, Kowch received seven regional Gold Key awards and two national Gold Medal awards from the prestigious Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program for creative teens. Her acceptance into these juried national exhibitions earned her representation at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and at the Diane von Furstenberg Gallery, New York City. In 2005, she was awarded a National ARTS in the Visual Arts Award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (now, National YoungArts Foundation), an honor that ranks recipients in the top 2 percent of American talent. Her own and other winning entries were exhibited at the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, Florida. In addition, Kowch has received Best of Show awards in a number of juried exhibitions, including the Best of Show Purchase Award in the annual juried international exhibition of Northbrook Library, Northbrook, Illinois (2008), and an Illustration Faculty Award from the College for Creative Studies (2008).
Works by Andrea Kowch have been exhibited in museums and galleries and at invitational and juried shows of regional, national, and international caliber, including Muskegon Museum of Art, which gave Kowch a solo exhibition (“Dream Fields”) in 2013, Grand Rapids Art Museum, ArtPrize, Art Basel Miami, Los Angeles Art Show, and SCOPE NYC. Kowch’s work also has been featured in and graced the front covers of several publications, including Spectrum, Direct Art, American Art Collector, Revue, and Southwest Art; is in the public art collections of Grand Rapids Art Museum, Northbrook Library, and Brooklyn Art Library, Brooklyn, New York, among others; and may be found in many significant private collections worldwide.
In 2014, Andrea Kowch is exhibiting at ArtHamptons International Fine Art Fair, New York, July 10-13; and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Jacksonville, Florida, where Kowch is among eight American artists selected nationally by the museum to represent contemporary realist painting in America today. The latter exhibition, “Get Real: New American Painting”, opens September 13, 2014, and will continue through January 4, 2015.
Andrea Koch, who lives and works in Michigan, is represented exclusively by RJD Gallery in New York.