Ed Kamuda ,"As Time Goes By", oil on board, 10 x 12 in, circa 2010
Backwards and Forwards
March 7th - March 31st
Special Preview : Thursday, March 7th
11 - 5 pm
Opening Reception : Saturday, March 9th
Ed Kamuda ,"Night on the Flats", oil on board, 7 x 13 in, 1984
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ed Kamuda has played a significant role in the Northwest Art scene since the late 70’s. He moved to the Pacific Northwest in the early 70’s from Queens, NY as a young man. Living briefly in Seattle, he then moved to LaConner, WA and the Skagit Valley became his beloved home and an inspiration for his art. It was there he met Guy Anderson who became his friend and mentor. Kamuda was studying and writing poetry at the time when Anderson suggested he become a painter. Never formally schooled in art, it was through spending time in Anderson’s studio and plein air painting with Clayton James that Kamuda learned what few basics he needed to move forward on his new path. Kamuda is a great lover of art books and spends much of his time reading and studying the art of past and contemporary artists. His life has always been simple; ideally a one room cabin without phone or internet. Painting is the main focus, along with close observation of the world around him.
When Kamuda and I were selecting pieces for this show we reached back through the decades to 1979 and came up with 23 paintings, all oil on board with palette knife. We discussed how certain elements come and go in an artist’s oeuvre throughout the years. There may be a strong horizon line for a period, that then may disappear, then objects and motifs may float or rely on a grid. Eventually that grid may become a thing of the past only to reappear years later. Artists often think they are done with something and, THERE, it pops up again. This phenomena in an artist’s body of work is most apparent when you have the occasion to view an extended time frame of a particular artist’s work. A retrospective, so to speak.
Ed Kamuda, Home at Last, oil on panel, 10 x 12 in, no date
The bulk of this selection of work is from the 90’s. The burnished oranges, deep umbers and siennas along with the small scale (6 x 9 in is a common size) had an undeniable appeal to me. I was accustomed to his more recent work, such as “As Time Goes By ", shown at top. They are often more strongly outlined, vividly colored and have a more common use of white. The influence of Chaim Soutine is evident in the earlier work and perhaps Howard Hodgkin in the later. And always there is Paul Klee.
In reviewing his work Kamuda and I came to the title “Backwards and Forwards.” There is a little bit of history in every new piece an artist makes. We move forward but we also jump back. This is a very exciting thing for me to observe as a curator and fellow artist. I see the yearly developments in all the artists I represent, but to see Kamuda’s development over 40 some years is a rare treat. At times he uses heavy black outlines, stars appear, then the stars become cubes, then horizontal striations become prominent, then the trees, the moon, the cabin all cluster together, then they break apart and float away. This is the visual storytelling that informs us so much about who this artist is, what is important to him, and why he is important to us.