"WHY ARE WE HERE?"
Casa Arts Centre - Lethbridge, Alberta
Concourse Gallery - Black and White Photographs
Nov. 02 - Dec. 21/2019
Black and White Photography Exhibiton of Cemeteries of the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta
A series of 15 images of vintage, abandoned and collapsed gravesites of four cemeteries, Coleman Union, Blairmore Catholic, Blairmore Union and the Hillcrest Cemetery. You won't see names on graves, monuments or wooden crosses, but what you will see is what is around the sites, the trees, wrought iron fences and gates, sunken crypts and the aura of what these people who died represent. Who were they? What did they do in their life, how did they live? When visiting a gravesite or a cemetery, many of us feel either uncomfortable or serene while poking our way around, afraid to walk over the dead or fall into an unstable, unmarked site.
Opening Reception - Nov. 02, 2019
UNTER DEM MESSER (UNDER THE KNIFE)
Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery - Frank, Alberta
Sept. 14 - Oct. 13, 2019
Abstract Oil Paintings - Palette Knife and Brushwork
This body of work covers the political and economic time period betweetn the First World War and World War Two, The Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler in Germany during the years 1912 to 1945. The subject matter covers the Novemember Revolution of 1918, industrial expansion, religiious persecution of the Jews and Catholics, entertainment, literature, music, science and war. It tells a story in an abstract expressionistic style, the history of Germany and it's people.
Left: "Macheath Messer(Mack the Knife)" Right: "November - 1918"
Left: " Inside the Tin Box" Right: "Night Shift - 1921"
Federation of Canadian Artists - "Acrylics in Action"
Sept. 26 - Oct 06, 2017
Group show focusing on the properties of acrylic paints.
Univeristy of Lethbridge Art Gallery 50
January 6th - Feb. 17, 2017
Helen Christou Gallery
In celebration of the 50th Anniveary of the University of Lethbridge
"The Coulee Project" - Jeanne Kollée - (first image on left)
Image of entire exhibit - Helen Christou Gallery
En Plein Air - Works from the Jim Coutts Centre, Nanton Alberta
The James Foster Penny Building - University of Lethbridge downtown Gallery
(Dec. 7th - Dec. 23 2016)
At the reception of the "En Plein Air" Exhibit, Saturday, Dec. 7th 2016. This oil painting titled
"When Lavender Whispers" was done with painting knives, partly on site at the Coutts Centre in
Nanton Alberta and the remainder completed in my studio space. It sold during the reception!
One lucky lady received a great Christmas present.
Artist Statement – R.J. Kollee
Unter dem Messer –(Under the Knife) - June 25th 2016
My interest in producing this body of work was initially influenced by the book “Before the Deluge – A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920’s”, by Otto Friedrich and featuring a cast
of characters of the time…Marlene Dietrich, Albert Einstein, Vladimir Nabokov, Paul Klee, Lotte Lenya, Josephine Baker, Otto Dix and many others. They were part of the fabric that made Berlin and Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s the dangerous, tawdry, exciting, decadent, despairing, exhilarating and eventual destructive phenomenon of its time.
The works are also influenced by the song, “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer”, or in English, “Mac the Knife”, sung by Lotte Lenya. The work, composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their musical, “The Three Penny Opera” premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theatre am Schiffbauerdamm. The song is based on the character Macheath, the highwayman in John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera”. The Brecht-Weill version is much nastier and more sinister with an unfavorable comparison to a shark.
Berlin, particularly, during the mid 1900’s and into the 1920’s and 1930’s was famous for its cabarets, restaurants, musical theatre, artists and “degenerate” life style.
Political unrest gave way to mobs and gangs in the streets and the rise and fall of The Weimar Republic. Many left and right wing parties vied for the coveted “chair” to rule Germany.
The rise of the “Dada” movement, brief as it was, made way for “Expressionism”, not only in the visual arts, but also music and prose. This period produced some of the most famous artists, writers and entertainers of our time. Some were communists, socialists, conservatives or politically neutral. Many artists were persecuted because of their ideas, subject matter of their work, style, gender, lifestyle and political affiliation.
These events led me on a path of discovery into the lives of these artists. What were they thinking? How did they cope in such a harsh economic, social and political environment? Many artists, musicians, journalists and political dissidents just left, for England or to the United States.
Inspired by the works of Paul Klee, Kurt Schwitters, Max Pechstein, Franz Marc, George Grosz, Wassily Kandinsky and others, I set about experimenting with painting knives, implementing the texture and the colour palettes and subject matter of these artists onto canvas.
There are many different sizes and shapes of palette knives, which produce some of the most amazing shapes and impasto techniques. Using the pure oil pigments with little or no mediums, it gives me the depth of colour and feel that I think was used during this time period. Working with these knives gives me the movement and spontaneous motion to express the elements of the era in today’s context.
Opening Reception - June 25th 2016
This exhibition is a series of paintings oil on canvas done with painting knives in the palette colours and themes of Berlin in the early part of the 1900's from 1900's to the early 1940's in the colours of Klee, Kandinsky, Dix, Schimitters and others. These abstract expressionsim works tell the tales of strife, discontent, and craziness of the time. This is my impression of how these artists and musicans and writers may have felt and experienced during that tumultuous era. Please check out the Casa website for more details.
Examples of more works in Exhibition.
"Between the Rhine and the Elbe"
"Meridian 15 - West"
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
October 31 – December 23, 2014 | Main Gallery
October 31 – December 23, 2014
Reception: November 7 | 7 – 9 pm | Main Gallery
Second from left: "Ukraine Spring" - J. Kollée Third from left: "How the Dutch got their Bike Paths" - J.Kollée (Right image: Original Robert Rauschenberg) Uof L Helen Christou Gallery
This exhibition features new work by local artists created in response to the U of L Art Gallery’s holding of Canadian and international Pop Art.
This exhibition is the final phase of MmmPop and is part of art + people = x, an on-going series to connect local artists and audiences with the U of L’s renowned art collection. In June 2014, the U of L Art Gallery invited artists and the public to come behind the scenes at the gallery and view a selection of our outstanding Pop Art works by Canadian, American, and British artists such as, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Joyce Weiland. Following the collection tour, artists and interested members of the public could participate in workshops at Casa, the community arts centre in downtown Lethbridge, and make work in response to the Pop Art they saw at the U of L. Artists then submitted their work to a panel of curators (Darcy Logan, David Smith, and myself) who selected the work for this exhibition. We also decided to include a few key works from the U of L collection in this exhibition in order to expand on the imagery and ideas addressed in the new work by local artists.
MmmPop creates a myriad of connections for artists and audiences: it supports the professional development of local artists and supports the strong community in Lethbridge, but it also gives members of the public a window into what artists engage with when they view works in public collections and how they build on imagery and approaches by previous generations. Some of the artists in the collection are household names and others are frequent favourites for artists although less known by the public. This exhibition, and the previous component which featured a range of Pop Art from the U of L collection, provides a contemporary context for these celebrated works and helps to build connections for new audiences with the art works and the U of L collection.
– Josephine Mills, Director/Curator U of L Art Gallery
En Plein Air - Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage (Group Exhibit)
Location: Nanton, Alberta
Title of work: " A Day of Bliss"
Exhibit Location: Dr. James Foster Penny Bldg. - Letbridge, Alberta
Date: October, 2014
This series of photos were taken in August of 2014 at the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage, in Nanton, Alberta.They consist of black and white images of this wonderful property just an hours drive from Lethbridge.
The landscape at this location is a beautiful combination of wild prarie grasses, wild flowers and groomed lawns along with the original out buildings and houses belonging to the late Jim Coutts. He willed the property to the University of Lethbridge to be used as a centre for our western culture and heritage. A group of local Alberta artists had the first opportunity in August to spend a day sketching, painting, and taking photos at this location. Also participating was an orchestra performing in the covered theatre. It truly was a 'blissful day'!
Asgard - Citadel of the Gods
Casa Arts Centre - September 2013
Norse Mythology the legends of the gods. This body of work is a story telling history of the beginning of the legends from the Tree of life to the end of the world "Ragnarok". Music that
accompanied the show is by Adrian von Ziegler, a composer from Switzerland.
A combination of styles, Japanese Anime and Arts and Crafts.
The End is Near
Group Exhibition - July 2012
U of U - Dr. James Penny Bldg.
This Exhibition's theme played on "The End of World" craze of 2012 that the world was going to end. The Potemkin Collective decided to mount an exhibit with this theme in mind. We were contacted by two other galleries, The SAAG and the Trianon, both in Lethbridge and The Alberta Summer Games Organization to particpate with this theme in conjunction with a 'wine tasitng' tour. This was a gallery hop at its utmost. There were street musicians and entertainers in the downtown, and an artist's studio tour of our work space. The wine was free by the way, and this event was like none other, with crowds in this facility up to more than 400 in the course of the evening! Simply amazing!
A view of some of the exhibits. A total of 55 artists participated.
"Doctore Peste" is based on the Venetian version of the so called 'doctors' during the Medieval times of the black plague. Their job it was to gather up the dead bodies that were left on the streets. The bird masks were worn and the beaks filled with the scent or herbs to help eliminate the smell of the rotting corpses. The bodies were then tossed upon carts and the bodies were either burned or tossed into mass graves.
"Jormungand" - the serpent in Norse Mythology. Odin threw the serpent in the ocean that surrounds the earth, but the monster grew to such an enormous size that it easily spanned the world, hence the name Midgard Serpent. It lies deep in the ocean where it bites itself in its tail and all mankind is caught within its coils. At Ragnarok (the end of the world) the waves caused by the serpent's emerging will set free the ship Naglfar from her moorings and the giants will sail towards the battlefield. My idea for this exhibit was to put Jormungand in a modern setting and an arial battle with fighter jets.
A long view of this 4000 sq. foot space. The show accomodated approximately 100 to 120 works during this two week exhibit.
Ruin and Reclaimation
Potemkin Collective - May 2009
Old Singer bldg.
"The Davenport Gallery" - This installation is a take off on the early 1960's lifestlye, the clothing and furniture, the artwork, velvet paintings and 60's kitsch right down to original magazines on the coffee table. The Potemkin Collective's theme of this exhibit was to take a rundown empty storefront which was totally in ruin and reclaim it for another purpose, as in an art exhibit. We used the the run down condition of the building and used it as a basis to mount this group show with approximately 36 artists participating. Subjects ranged from an old washing machine with an audio trac to eco art to knitted objects in the heating ducts.