Pictures & Media

Author: Ernst Hofmann, art expert and free journalist, Interlaken



One of nowadays numerous exhibitions of Peter Koschak's paintings opened at the Carlton-Europe Hotel in Interlaken/Bern. On that occasion, I felt the need to write something about him, having known him for many years, and having experienced his art during many enriching visits to his studio.

Born in Ljubljana/Slovenia in 1950, he later lived in Germany and since 1968 in Switzerland, where he became a Swiss citizen in 1979. Self-taught Koschak has been showing his work to a wider public since 1988, completing his professional skills under Jürg Straumann, a painter and book author living in Bern. Since then, Peter Koschak has been continuously developing his art, now documented in a dozen exhibitions in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and France. A man of the world, with a positive attitude towards life, as well as family, he has remained a child of restless after-war Europe, searching for his homeland in artistic expression.

As he himself was driven by destiny, he vigorously pursues his art. Spontaneous and clear in its form, his art can be described as largely free from foreign influence. Certain compositions may remind us of F.K. Gotsch, R. Delaunay, P. Gautier or even E. Munch, of a certain painting dynamic that is related to yet surpassing impressionism, a totally natural outcome of the work with spatula on art paper or canvas.

A closer examination of his works, as an example of a personal interpretation of life, sheds light on the tense relationship between the constructive and the organic presentation. Spontaneity resides in the fact that not all contradictions in a painting can dissolve by themselves
... but maybe they can in the eyes of the beholder!

"Paintings of Lake Thun at Lake Geneva "

Four artists from Inner Switzerland are showing their works at the Europ'ART in Geneva

Four artists from the Bernese Oberland are going to exhibit their works at the Europ'art in Geneva from the 2nd to the 6th May: Hansueli Urwyler from Unterseen, Peter Koschak and Willy Stiefvater from Interlaken, and Gisèle Gilgien from Hünibach. They call themselves "The Exhibitors from the Lake Thun".

Willy Stiefvater and Peter Koschak are self-taught artists. Willy Stiefvater entered into art in an unusual way: Peter Koschak encouraged him to "action paint". Using spatulas, he applies acrylic paints on canvas or art paper, shaping them "in a duel with his own fantasy" to elaborate forms of a rich, sometimes pretty daring colour composition. Peter Koschak dealt with art at both national and international museums, having been encouraged by his artistic friends to paint already in the eighties. He experimented – because he loved painting – with mostly bright colours and today he still paints in oil on art paper and canvas. Beautiful strong colours are the focus of his paintings. Sometimes, finely traced parts of the motive are a constituent part of the painting. Peter Koschak is exhibiting his paintings in September at the art gallery Kunst im Foyer of the paper Jungfrau Zeitung in Interlaken.

Jungfrau Zeitung Interlaken, April 13th 2007

Author: Dr. Claus-Peter Boehner, Eulogy of 23rd March 2007
Exhibition in the IDUNA Business Tower,
Will-Brandt-Platz 5 / D – 68161 Mannheim.

"(...) Peter Koschak prefers painting in oil on paper. The brightness of the artist's colours catches our attention straight away. The range of his paintings' themes, from accented objects to totally abstract presentations is typical of his work, which partially radiates great harmony, but also an atmosphere provoking confrontation. Peter Koschak, an artist who likes experimenting with forms and colours, an artist who is searching. It is an artistic search, a self-seeking exploration, an experiment and a reflection, one giving rise to the other, all accompanying the artist on his way towards perfection."

Author: Dr. Ulrike Ritter, ART SPECTRUM [KUNST-SPEKTRUM]
Online Magazine 2007

Imaginative poetry expressed in painting and sculpture: new art at Gallery Boehner in Iduna Business-Tower in Mannheim, on view untill the 10th August 2007.

"(...) The inner differentiation of colours can be compared with the works of Peter Koschak. The artist, living in Switzerland, prefers painting in oil on paper and spans his depictions from accented objects to fully abstract motives. The works of art from his extensive production that are open and worked to the last detail at the same time transmit an independent experimental search that leads to a closed form in most of his paintings."
Fully liberated: fresh colours, artistic expressions and innovations in the art of international artists at the Böhner Gallery at the Salzburg Art Show 2006.

"(...) Peter Koschak of Switzerland connects objective realism and a rather aggressive artistic interpretation (agressivere Expression). For the observer, realistic objects take shape nearly imperceptibly out of differentiated brushstrokes, sunken in the expressive surroundings, appearing now lost, now confident, so reflecting the moods of the artist."

Peter Koschak is on show at Europ’ART
(...) On the fringe of the Book Fair which is taking place at Palexpo these days, Europ’ART is a sort of complementary artistic section, yet an independent one.
Among the many local artists there, Koschak, a surrealist and symbolist painter, has come to show his most recent paintings at the Art sans frontière stand, from 2nd to 6th May. These colourful oil paintings give an insight of a strange world parallel to the implacable race against time, inhabited by people on stilts trying to catch up with it.

Sg, Tribune de Genève, Thursday May 3rd 2007

Europ’ART, Geneva, Switzerland
This annual art event sees a range of artists, art dealers and others in the industry come together to discover and observe recent trends or simply for art collectors to scout around for pieces for their private collections. Special exhibitions and viewings by various museums in Geneva will also showcase some of the world’s most acclaimed works.

Prestige magazine, May 2007

2-6 May
Art lovers
Discover that picture-perfect piece of art for your bare wall at eh 16th Europ’ART Fair at Geneva’s Palexpo. Geneva’s museums also exhibit items from their collections. Who will be the new artistic sensation in 2007?

Inside magazine, Spring 2007

Peter Koschak is exhibiting his acrylic paintings in Lhasa.
The exhibition bears the title.

“Seven days in Tibet”

After his successful exhibitions in Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland, Peter Koschak from Interlaken, Switzerland is right now exhibiting his art work in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Until recently only Buddhist and traditional art has been shown in this historically interesting and politically controversial country at the foot of Mount Everest. But now more and more modern Art can be found in this remote area in the Himalayas. The vernissage is meant to enhance the interaction with the international art scene in this area, as well as to motivate Tibetan artists, to show their modern art. Tibetan contemporary art, as exhibited from time to time by the Lhasa Artist Association, shows an immense artistic potential to the foreign visitors. A central meeting point of Tibetan and international artists in Lhasa is the Gedun Choephel Gallery, the popular “Art Saloon” in 3rd Barkahr Street. The gallery is located in the heart of the old town, not far from the Jokhong temple dating form the sixth century, which is on the list of UNESCO world heritages. Koschak wants to motivate Tibetan as well as Chinese originating artists, to exhibit their work in Switzerland (especially in Bernese Oberland) to the local audience. When it comes to the art of Peter Koschak, even for eastern spectators are struck by the dominating presence of his shapes (figures), even though they are not perceived at first glance. They materialise by the piling up and pressing sown of acrylic paint in bright colours on the surface. The figures resemble creative which are trying to step out of the spiral of the painting process. They are held back by their transparency, which is holding them inside the painting in a calming way. These figures are of a particular immateriality, in spite of a sufficient layer of paint.
Koschak’s art work with its refreshing independency is giving hope, though not all paintings have been painted by far. He seems to enjoy reinventing himself, stays contradictory, playful and still going deep. One gets the feeling, that in spite of his overwhelming enjoyment of experimenting, everything turns out just fine in the end. Still, the observer stays back with the question, where exactly Koschak’s independent style of painting can be placed as a form of “Wild Art”. Maybe the answer can be found in Lhasa, in the confrontation and interaction with the expressions of Tibetan and Chinese culture which is new to most of us.

Jungfrau Zeitung. March 12th 2010

Koschak’s „Tibetan prayer flags“ in Lhasa

The paintings of Peter Koschak, which are exhibited in the Gedun Choephel Gallery in Lhasa, Tibet, bears the form of Tibetan prayer flags and radiates light, cheerfulness, hope and courage.
Prayer flags (tib: rlung rta, english: wind horses) can be found on all mountain passes and mountain peaks in the Himalayas and the adjoining plateaus. Usually they are blue, white, red, green and yellow from the left to the right, with about the same meanings as we know them in the western world. The number five is of great importance in Tibetan Buddhism, it symbolises the four cardinal points and their mystical centre. The flags often bear the Tibetan mantra “om mani padme hum”. The Tibetans believe that the wind carries this mantra, to bring happiness and peace to all feeling beings on earth.

Koschak’s art is revolving around this transcendental element. His abstract work shows spatula effects, surprising use of the painting brush with overleaps and colour gaps. In other words every possible technique found in the abstract art. At the first glance, one could find a meditative balance, but the artist always breaks up the too pristine peacefulness. That way he alludes to a fictive space, which seems to be incomprehensible for human rationalism, yet it is the source of an ever-changing process, which gives depth and soul to Koschak’s artwork, and knows no boundaries, especially no geographical ones.

That way Koschak’s art is related to the one of the Tibetan artist Gedund Choephel (1903-1951). This great intellectual and art mentor tried to evolve local Tibetan art in the years of 1920 until after 1930. But not everyone was on his side, since back then and even today, tradition, ancient culture and religion are omnipresent. This is why not only artwork of Tibetan, Chinese and international temporary art is shown, but also tea, yak wool and butter is sold. And now Koschak’s “prayer flag paintings” are hanging in the scented air of Lhasa, where the worshippers burn juniper berries in the surrounding ovens. This proves once again that Art knows no borders.

Autor: Ernst Hofmann Interlaken, Art Journsalist March 15th 2010

Koschak at the Louvre in Paris

Peter Koschak, who lives in Interlaken, Switzerland, shows his art work at the art exhibition at Carrousel du Louvre, Rue de Rivoli 99 in Paris, starting Friday, 4th until Sunday, 6th of June 2010.

He shows his abstract acrylic paintings for the second time to the french and international audience. The opening of the exhibition will be tomorrow Friday, the 4th of June 17:30 - 20:30. The opening hours during the exhibion in the French capital will be daily from 10:00 a.m. to 20:00 p.m.

Peter Koschak, the internationally known sculpteur and painter, lives and works since forty years in Bernese Oberland.

Text: Berner Oberländer, Interlaken, Switzerland, 3th of June 2010

Sensuous, poetic and multi-dimensional

Artist Peter Koschak, Interlaken, Switzerland, exhibits in Rotterdam

Koschak has made a name for himself with his colourful and expressive acrylic paintings. On October 29, the Interlaken artist will be exhibiting his work in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.
The study and perception of reality and humankind is often the first step on the path to artistic expression with a creative trademark style. This is the path self-taught Interlaken artist Peter Koschak has been following and is following still. His continuous engagement with his own perspective and its artistic expression shapes the way in which his style evolves. Peter Koschak will be exhibiting his acrylic paintings at the «Art Rotterdam» from October 29th to 31th.

Canon of colour

The essence of Koschak's work is strong colour and the use of the palette-knife technique. Expressive, expansive and yet figuratively structured, his paintings display a canon of colour that creates a vision on the canvas, such as in the painting «Kain and Abel». The artist's perception of the colour blue is «infinite», red is «intense, powerful» and yellow «vivid and warm». The sometimes dominating colour lends the paintings a sensuousness that counteracts the suggestion of realism, creating a poetic, sensitive level and multi-dimensionality, as seen in «Besuch nach Mitternacht», where a fantasy structure, depicted as a fictitious object, leaves scope for imagination and interpretation.

Outside Switzerland, Koschak's work has been shown in Germany, France, Austria, Nederland, the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu.

Author: News desk/Veronica Brunner, Jungfrau Zeitung, Interlaken, Switzerland, Oktober 25th 2010

Art of Peter Koschak in Nepal

Since Friday, the 4th March 2011, the Swiss painter Peter Koschak from Interlaken is staying in Kathmandu and is exhibiting his art in our country by the gallerist Ratna Kaji Shakya.

Normally, the Light & Shade Art Gallery in Kathmandu exhibits the work of Nepalese artists. But since Sunday, for the first time also Swiss art from the cycle "Phenomenon of Light and Shadow " is shown. The artist has exhibited in various European countries and also in Lhasa, Tibet. Now he is showing his art in the heart of Thamel in Kathmandu to a highly varied and interested audience, including members of the Academy of the Arts, actors and other artists.

After the traditional welcome with the silk scarf, the exhibition was opened with a speech and a solemn ceremony of Nepal by the Commissioner of the Arts and President of the Artists' Association of Nepal (NAFA), Chancellor Kiran Manandhar. Once the artist had explained and commented about his fascinating paintings, the celebration started and went on and on with everyone discussing excitedly about art and culture.

The exhibition will take place until Sunday, 12th March 2011

Text: Reporter Chauti Pohelangaa, Annapurna Post, Kathmandu,
7th March 2011

„Symphony of Colours“, Pall Mall Gallery, London

Koschak says that his paintings are a mirror of time fleeing caught in its luminosity and frozen energy, colourful, often exuberant, a pictorial expression of his thoughts and feelings, the kind of dichotomy he loves and that greatly influences his artwork. So most of his paintings communicate a state of controlled chaos and combine divergent forces into a thrilling abstract form.

He likes the idea that his paintings do not so much reveal a specific theme but their intrinsic quality by means of colour, light and shade. That is what he is consciously set out to achieve. He doesn’t find himself doing anything without being emotional, but what he does is so natural to him that it seems to come straight out of his head to his hands. „I am very influenced by “Popart” and “L’Art Brut”, the theme hidden at first sight, the artwork not revealing itself instantly.

But Koschak is very much aware as well of the importance of compositional elements in his paintings, and structural preciseness is like a second nature to him, so there is a basic ambiguity in his work … maybe the influence of the rather sober times in which we live.

„My problem is to reveal today’s hidden realities by extracting their substance“. For him his work is a gateway to the unknown. It is not an easy road. It is about essence, the core of his being laid bare. „It is the call of my soul to reach out und to meet yours“.

Text: The Laudatio, Philip Firsov, Art Journalist,
The Epoch Times, London, December 10th, 2012

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