ALEX COUWENBERG :: beyond hard-edge abstraction


Alex Couwenberg’s images reflect the cultural trappings of his Southern California roots;

“From Los Angeles, Couwenberg’s work references and suggests the aesthetic associated with mid-century modernism, car culture, skateboards, and surfboards.  Not to leave out, paying homage to the historical styles of post-war art making associated with Los Angeles and southern California throughout the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s.  Couwenberg’s paintings give a nod towards the Hard-edge abstractionists, the finish fetish, and the light and space artists.  Not content to replicate, he uses the sensibility of Eames-era design and hard-edge geometric abstraction as points of departure for creating paintings.  His process, an additive and reductive series of moves and passes, creates multilayered environments that are deep and sensual.  He harnesses these ideas into harmonious results, reflecting the visual landscape of his environment.” -bio from mana, the film’s website

At The Claremont Graduate School, Couwenberg was mentored by hard-edge abstraction legend Karl Benjamin whose influence is apparent, albeit as a point-of-departure.  Couwenberg has built an dense and extensive vocabulary on the bedrock of the clean, pure and reductive geometric language that Benjamin and his peers utilized during their mid-century era.

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