Bhaskar Krag is a former New York, SoHo-based painter. Since moving to Cortes Island in 2001, he has spent the last decade creating a new body of work, inspired by the mercurial light and expansive landscapes of BC's archipelago. Now, out of the Arc building on Powell St.
The dogmas of Abstract Expressionism led to the eventual decline of that truly original North American movement. But having skipped a generation dominated by silk-screeners and conceptual artists, Krag is part of the next generation that spans from Dana Schutz to Cecily Brown and even Fred Tomaselli. Where some mine the figurative vein of Expressionism, Krag's vibrant colors depict more subliminal terrains that can conjure aqueous gardens or a botanical cosmos.
The New York Times describes his work as "square, heavily impastoed paintings [with] a festive sensuousness." Krag claims, "I am a bit of an anachronism. My primary medium is oil on linen." His paintings are built one stroke at a time, with successive layers creating a palimpsest of memory and allusion. Much like Steven Reich's compositions of phasing patterns, Krag's dense layers produce a helix of variation, anomaly and repetition that resolve in the harmonic weight of each canvas. Even just a few steps to the left or right can expose new strands of these mutating structures. "I know that it is finished when nothing is out of tune. My intention is to create a place that you inhabit as much as you see. You can approach it from any angle, and depending on how you see or feel that day, fresh paths appear in the work. They're all there. There is no one way to see it. Frequently people tell me that they still see new things in their paintings even after many year."
His work was exhibited with the Jay Grimm Gallery in Chelsea and is held in collections throughout the United States and Canada, including the head of the Calder Foundation, the Director of the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Director and even here in Vancouver, with three pieces in Mayor Robertson’s home. "Painting is the first place where I felt connected with my life. The supernatural is not separate from our own bodies and experience. Even if you don't know that you know it, I hope that these can serve as reminders."