I just went to the Gallery Stroll, which happens the third Friday of every month in Salt Lake City when galleries stay open until 9:00 pm and have an open door policy. A lot of art openings are also scheduled at the same time to maximize exposure, but I also find it relaxing since there is no expectation that everyone through the door is looking to buy art.
I saw some good art and some not so good art, but that is expected, since many of the shows are revolving and will be switched out for next month. It was also unusual since I visited some galleries that I’ve never been to before, but that have been on my list for a long time. One of those was the “A” Gallery at 1321 south and 2100 east.
The “A” Gallery was supposed to be hosting a show by Andy Taylor, whose art I’ve never seen, but when I got to the gallery I couldn’t find any paintings by him. It was probably a misprint, but I’m glad I stuck around. Wandering through the gallery, which is almost like an adventure of discovery as you negotiate the various alcoves, I noticed some interesting landscapes by Brian Koch.
The first thing I noticed was that the trees had a square touch handling similar to Rockport artists. Then I stepped back and saw the overall low key colors and feel of post storm weather. (The artist in me often sees the technique first.) I was intrigued since a lot of art these days tries to monopolize your attention with bright colors. (I wonder if people who hang it in their homes find themselves avoiding that room after a while to find a more peaceful space.)I also liked how he mixed that up with wilder strokes for the foreground weeds and bushes.
As I continued around the gallery I started picking his paintings out and noticing how they had this mysterious quality. I found myself drawn to the way he handled the background elements with a almost misty look but more similar to a random cross hatch. I also felt that there was a slight feeling of loneliness, which is always something I’ve been attracted to.
If you get a chance, his art is worth taking a look at.
Brian Koch is a local Utah artist, originally from Vernal, and has been building his body of work and reputation for the last five or six years. In addition to the “A” Gallery he is represented by the Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.