Gesundheit Reimagined!

Paul Kolker, as doctor, lawyer, curator and artist… and once upon a time director of MDNY, a health care insurance company, presents Gesundheit Reimagined! at the Paul Kolker collection from September 28 through November 10, 2017. This is Kolker’s sixtieth solo exhibition and his eighth about health care. The exhibition, of paintings and light sculptures, enables the viewer to deploy her unique visual perceptions of the artist’s learned voice to re-imagine our nation’s most recent health insurance act which has become unaffordable.

Paul Kolker: Gesundheit Reimagined - Imagine Angels In Center Field, 2017 - © 2017 Paul Kolker. All rights reserved. Contemporary Artist NYC

Paul Kolker: cumulonimbus bleu, 2009
acrylic on canvas
55 x 55 inches

The show’s title is derived from our “gesundheit” response to hearing a nearby person’s sneeze; a proclamation of our wishes for his good health. Kolker curates this exhibition, using his works as a projective psychological experiment, to test the viewer’s perception of imagery, cognition and understanding generated from the viewer’s reading Kolker’s text painted over an abstract or figural painting; or in viewing figural paintings without text…portraying our governmental health care leaders, legislators and justices, which we also perceive visually, but as Kolker’s aesthetic, yet graphic and painterly sign language.

As in the installation view depicted above, Paul Kolker: Imagine angels in center field, 2017 is a two-panel text painting in stark white acrylic laid over an abstract decalcomania in blue and red acrylic over a black ground laid on canvas. The painting is replete with subtext and innuendo; Kolker’s hidden meanings, which he says are “subliminal whispers and pleas, that surely our angels can hear; ‘Please fix our broken federally mandated health care insurance system.'”

“This text painting,” Kolker explains, “relies on our indirect perception; like reading between the lines and imagining a picture painted according to our perception of the words we read… about American health care insurance and our blue, Democrat and red, Republican metaphorical angels out in center field watching over us. When I wrote this text, I imagined that those angels are our senators and representatives in Congress. I also imagined that they are working together across the aisle, i.e. in center field, to fix or replace the many broken-parts of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Otherwise, I would have imagined that our metaphorical angels are, idiomatically, ‘out in left field.'”

Also on view in this exhibition are Kolker’s large scale paintings about the history of American health care: public option redux, 2010; the obama clinic, 2010; the kolker clinic, 2010; ladies and gentlemen, this is no humbug, 2012; and centurial journey, 2014. (For press releases and installation views of these works, please click: Paul Kolker Health Care Art Exhibitions)

Paul Kolker (b. 1935) is a New York based artist with doctorate degrees in medicine and law. He is Fellow American College of Surgeons, Fellow American College of Legal Medicine and Emeritus Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Northwell Glen Cove Hospital, having practiced cardiothoracic surgery on Long Island from 1969 to 2013. In October 2001, Kolker moved his Long Island studio to his current address in the Chelsea art district so that he could produce his works and curate his exhibitions as an experiment in perception. His studio and gallery have together become his laboratory in which the viewer is the measuring instrument for Kolker’s art as a perceptual experiment. Gesundheit Reimagined! is Kolker’s sixtieth solo exhibition.

Paul Kolker: Gesundheit Reimagined! is on view from September 28 through November 10, 2017 at the Paul Kolker collection, 511 West 25th Street in Chelsea, adjacent to the HighLine between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. Also on view at 600 Third Avenue is Abstract Decalcomania…An Experiment in Perception.
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Press Release