Working primarily on canvas and linen, colour dictates every brushstroke in the energetic oil paintings of West Australian artist, Waldemar Kolbusz.
A splash of blue here, a neon jag there, it is as though he is some sort of magician, conjuring mystical hues from painters past to produce works that speak freely to modern audiences. In his employment of light, shape and texture, Kolbusz breathes vitality and freshness into each colourful creation, it’s thread of coherency evolving from viewer to viewer.
Inspired by the works of Rothko, Klein and Motherwell, Kolbusz’s paintings are in part an hommage to the abstract expressionist movement these artists helped champion. As with his predicessors, Kolbusz disregards accepted conventions in both technique and subject matter, focusing instead on super-sized reflections of the inner psyche. As Kolbusz puts it, “expression and feeling over exactness and formula”. And it’s precisely this organic and honest approach that has helped catapult Kolbusz to the top of the Australian art scene.
Having launched his career back in 1999, Kolbusz has since been a regular fixture at some of the country’s most revered galleries: Greenhill Galleries (Perth), Aptos Cruz Gallery (South Australia), Gunyulgup Gallery (Margaret River), Richard Martin Art (Sydney) and Axia Modern Art (Melbourne). He’s also developed an international following on the back of exhibitions in Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Europe. Keen to broaden his horizons, most recently Kolbusz collaborated with esteemed Australian designer Aurelio Costarella for his Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week presentation. The interactive installation centred on three giant freestanding Kolbusz canvases, the collaborative palettes created to complement the new season collection.
Highly sought after and hugely collectable, Kolbusz works feature in many notable collections both nationally and internationally. Commissioned to create a 7m piece for the foyer of Metropol Crown Casino, Melbourne, he also infamously sold two collections in their entirety to the five-star Four Seasons and Galaxy Hotels in Macau for presidential suites. Vogue Living hailed him a ‘design aficionado’, and subsequently went on to purchase a piece for the magazine’s private collection.
That’s the power of Kolbusz’s art. It’s hard to find the words to describe why you love it but somehow it manages to trigger an emotional response deep within. Maybe it’s the colour; maybe it’s the scale; or maybe, just maybe, it’s the all encompassing beauty of one of Western Australia’s most talented creatives?