When I first arrived in California in 1975, and drove into the Sacramento valley and saw the patchwork vistas of iridescent green agricultural fields and intense blue skies, I knew I wasn’t in Connecticut anymore. As a painter, I wanted to become part of the wonder of California. And part of my introduction was becoming familiar with the art of Gregory Kondos.
My affinity for Kondos’ work is simple. Simple in its simplicity. Abstractly painted trees and possibly a building, reflecting in the still blue Delta waters, topped off with a halo of a luxurious “Kondos blue” sky above is all one ever needs to get lost in the essence of California. And the essence of Kondos.
In his show, “A Touch of Blue”, Kondos chronicles that he studied the work of Cezanne, yet remarks “I wanted to make it my own”. I love that. When you step back and take in these large canvases that are striking in their elegant design, bold yet subtle in the thickly applied oil color palette, and evocative of a man in love with his environment, you see that Gregory Kondos has definitely “made it his own”.
If you want to see what California art is all about, go see the current show at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, “A Touch of Blue”, Landscapes by Gregory Kondos, February 24 – May 19, 2013.