A very well-made and engaging mini-documentary on the working process of Alex Couwenberg.
Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Music by The Hitchikers, James Lucchesi, and Mick Cripps.
Born and raised in Southern California , painter Alex Couwenberg creates images that are inspired by the elements indigenous to his surroundings. From Los Angeles , Couwenbergs 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. Couwenbergs 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. A graduate from Art Center College of Design and The Claremont Graduate School, Couwenberg worked under the guidance of Karl Benjamin, one of the leading figures in the Southern California based school of Hard-edge geometric abstraction. Benjamin was instrumental in the development of his painting style, process, and philosophy. A Southern California native, Couwenberg naturally embraced this sensibility and applied it to his art making practices. By instilling the discipline and work ethic associated with these philosophies into his process, the paintings began to mature and develop a visual voice. The vocabulary references the dedication toward craft, process, and the progression of concepts and techniques.
Couwenbergs paintings have been shown in several solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States , Canada , Europe, and Asia . His work can be found in numerous public, private, corporate, and museum collections around the world. Couwenberg was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for his achievements in painting and was recently featured as the subject of Los Angeles based film maker Eric Minh Swenson, which focuses on the artists life and studio practices in Los Angeles . Couwenberg recently exhibited a body of paintings in a two person show along with his mentor Karl Benjamin. The show was part of the Getty Museums ongoing “Pacific Standard Time” project highlighting Southern California artists and their contributions towards art making.
For more info on Eric Minh Swenson or project inquiries visit his website :www.thuvanarts.com