Stanislas Kostka

about Stanislas Kostka

Stanislas Kostka was trained in the thorough and delicate preparations of the old European master, while training To be a conservator of paintings. It is the single most relevant fact to an understanding not only of the authenticity of his adaptations of Flemish/Dutch painting of the 16th and 17th centuries,but also of the degree to which each new painting Extrapolates from the paradigm that began his fascination With this subject matter. He has a profound understanding of the brushwork,glazes,gesso,texture,compositional canons and chromaticharmoniesof thi rarified subject in European art.


No other comtemporary artist knouws quite as well as Kostka how to give new life to the lookand feel of this genre. More than , this the uniquesness of his imaginings related to this type of panting is a genuine development away from the tradition his investigations have produced. He combines new technologies – canvas preparation, brushes, paints and glazes along with the time-consuming and laborious techniques of the old masters ,giving his work a distinct character of its own .First among these is technical virtuosity together with a color sense not seen in the Flemish and Dutch masters of the past.


Wat follows is a description of some of the elementary historical influences Kostka has touched upon, absorbed and moved on from in an aesthetic pursuit, which has led him toward a new creative elaboration of this old tradition for contemporary audiences . In this, the artist has had no rival in the late-20th century , and he remains the leading floral painter as we open the 21st century . The linear harmonies of his floral paintings must be ascribed to a relationship between the linear restraint ofb the internal architecture (geometric underpinning) of the arrangement of blooms , with a flamboyant baroque curvature and bright coloration of the flowers , modeled for dramatic emphasis in an emphatic chiaroscuro light .


The whole is a quixotic tour-de-force of line, color and mood that aligns him favorably wiht the old masters for whom he has reverence. However , Kostka brings to these set pieces the poetic dimension of deliquescent light , which inbues every particle of the flower, pistil to stem . Often the flowers are not a specific species but objects of the artist’s imagination and in this it is a unique development of the tradition. Bringing together various flowers that are not neccessarily of the same month or location (adding to the textural variety of the bouquet )is a dutch, 17th century idea . However Kostka includes in this fancy « flowers of the imagination »-fictions that extend the color range and shape of his compositions .


The influences and references upon and in Kostka’s paintings are , in particular the combing of flemish and dutch ‘Ontbijte’ or ‘breakfast’paintings wiht ‘Pronk’ painting, or ‘Obstentatious’ still-life floral painting, together wiht the italian , caravaggesque floral painting which originated in Naples .