No Man’s Land: Peter Krausz Paintings at Forum Gallery

Montreal artist Peter Krausz has 15 landscape paintings on view at the Forum Gallery through January 16th.  These remarkable paintings are all executed in secco, a technique that utilizes an egg-tempera medium applied directly to dried plaster.  The resultant surfaces have a jewel-like luminosity and depth of color reminiscent of early renaissance painting.

Borders have been a recurring motif in the artist’s work (Krausz escaped with his family from Eastern Block Romania in 1969 during a surreptitious border crossing)–political and agricultural borders imposed upon the natural landscape, often resulting in harshly contrasting planes of land thrust against each other.  The paintings in No Man’s Land takes as its visual source the island of Cyprus, where a Dead Zone (as the Greeks call it) cuts across cultivated fields, villages and even individual houses like a gaping wound.  In Krausz’ paintings, sections of uncultivable terrain spread before the fertile greenery of ancient lands–evoking at once the rugged beauty of the earth as well as our struggle to live harmoniously upon it.

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