Brief-description: artist-in-residence Philip Koch created over the past 2.5 years. 4/14-7/29
Event url: www.burchfieldpenney.org.
About: Features over 30 oil paintings and works on paper started in the areas where Charles Burchfield loved to work—West Seneca, East Aurora, Chestnut Ridge Park, downtown Buffalo, and Salem, OH. Selections of drawings from the Burchfield Archives that influenced Koch as he worked will also be in the installation.
Koch spent many hours in the Burchfield Penney Art Center archive poring through thousands of Burchfield drawings. “My researched revealed just how seriously he took his own talent. Burchfield built up his world step by step with preparatory studies he organized and documented which made a big impression on me,” said Koch. “It inspired me to think about recording my work in a meaningful, systematic way.”
Burchfield in his maturity came to reevaluate and re-value the work he had done in his early years and incorporated it into later paintings which inspired Koch to reassess the work he did as a young artist. “I saw more excitement, it was better than I remembered and encouraged me want to go back to borrow some of things I used to do in my 20s and 30s,” said Koch. “His openness to changing his mind about his early work encouraged me to reconsider my own methods. As a result, I began painting in oil outdoors again for the first time in 20 years. It has felt like a warm breeze renewing my excitement with the natural world.”
The residency provided Koch, who was born in Rochester, NY, his first opportunity to make art near where he grew up, as he didn’t study art until he went to college at Oberlin, OH. “I was struck by how profoundly an artist is influenced by where they experience their childhood, in both my case and Burchfield’s. You can see his childhood influencing the way he thought and felt all throughout the rest of his life and over and over you see imagery that comes right out of where he grew up,” said Koch. “Creating art work living in Buffalo he recycled the excitement he felt as a kid in Salem, Ohio. Painting in the environs where Burchfield worked reminded me of where I grew up and so much