Amer Kobaslija – Places and Spaces at SCU

Amer Kobaslija‘s solo exhibition, “Places and Spaces” has been installed in the beautiful, new Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building Gallery in Santa Clara University since January and I was lucky enough to catch the last day while dropping off a piece for next month’s show, “Honoring the Legacy of David Park”.

Amer Kobaslija is a very accomplished artist, a Guggenheim Fellow who has had solo shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Paris. He was born in Bosnia (then Yogoslavia), fled to a German refugee camp, received asylum in Florida, did his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sarasota at the Ringling College of Art and Design and his  Masters of Fine Arts at Montclair College in New Jersey. The artist is now based in New York where he is represented by George Adams Gallery.

Kobaslija’s work is intricate, intimate, unsettling and thoroughly mesmerizing! This exhibit is comprised of interior and exterior landscapes with careening perspectives (I felt a little dizzy at times) as viewed from a bird or a drone or an actual ladder. The subject matter ranges from cell-like perspectives of artist studios, (an easel, a bed, a sink, a toilet – seeming almost monastic to me suggesting feeling of self-imposed and obsessive confinement) to epic views of post-tsunami Japan with it’s jumbled, blown-out and washed up detritus of cityscapes.

All of this is handled with a deep love of paint, both loose and gestural and exquisitely and impossibly detailed! I think it’s this very love that speaks of a tenderness  for the human condition. For me they are akin to Momento Mori!

Amer Kobaslija – Arrival of Winter – Oil on Panel

Amer Kobaslija – Arrival of Winter – Oil on Panel (detail)

Amer Kobaslija – Not Everything will Perish – Oil on Panel

In this shot you can see not only the scale of the artist’s large work flanked by his smaller pieces,  Not Everything will Perish and Painters Studio Pollock East Hampton but also see the artist’s foot as he stands on a ladder to get this bird’s eye view of his studio (at the foot of the painting, center).

Amer Kobaslija – Painters Studio Pollock East Hampton – Oil on Panel

Amer Kobaslija – House Near Higashihama Highway – Oil on Copper Panel

Amer Kobaslija – Nainowaki Residential Area – Oil on Wood Panel

Amer Kobaslija – Black Smoke Raising Over Kesennuma – Oil on Panel

Amer Kobaslija – Smoke #3 – Oil on Copper Panel