Joe Kossow received a Master in Fine Arts degree from The American University in Washington, DC in 1982, where he studied with Ben Summerford, Robert D’Arista
and Jack Boul.
In 1983 he co-founded the Washington Studio School with Lee Newman, Carlton Fletcher, Jack Boul, Susan Yanero, David Holt, Jo Weiss,and Katie Murray. Joe taught at the Washington Studio School and local Washington area colleges for 8 years.
He was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields prize in 1983. His work has been shown in the
DC area, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in Paris and Nancy, France. He lives and works
in Princeton, New Jersey.
I love everyday objects, and things that show their age. So I often paint old bottles
and tools, flowers and fruit. My painting is an affirmation of the importance of looking,
of perceiving, of drawing, of composing and finding a balance between visual drama
and stability. Being in love with oil paint as a material, I tend to obsess over all
the technical matters that make oil paintings interesting: edges; suggestions of
planes,forms, and spaces; tones; impasto; and the emotion inherent in chiaroscuro
and color. But mainly I paint because I have to. I tried not painting for a long while;
it left a hole that nothing else really filled.
A word on the frames: many of the newer paintings are mounted in -- and were composed
to fit -- molded frames that were designed by Robert Kulicke (a wonderful painter in his own right, in addition to being a world-class frame maker). They were inspired by beautiful frames from art history -- starting in ancient Egypt and working forward through centuries of European frames. Composing paintings to fit these shapes posed a series of interesting challenges,
but the end result was worth it, and it's great to honor Kulicke's memory in this way.