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AN AMERICAN GALLERY
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ANGELA PERKO

(b. 1958)

Contemporary Modernist Painter

by Frank Goss

Angela Perko is a rising star of the California art world who paints vividly colored abstractions of landscapes, still lifes, and figures. Perko's compositions reference Cubism and the flowing, sensuous forms of early Modern painters like Georgia O'Keeffe. Her palette, however, is bright and vivid like the sunlight of Southern California. She cites Canada's Group of Seven as important influences on her love of color.




Table Of Contents

I. Biography

She was born in Hollywood, Florida where in her youth she saw undeveloped tracts of pine forests, palmetto plants, and tangled undergrowth interspersed with tomato farms and low lying marshland. The vivid colors of the fauna of this coastal city may serve as reference for the palette she employs today in her California views. Although primarily trained as a landscape artist, she finds herself producing still life, architectural landscape and portrait paintings.

Her studies took her from Florida to Lake Forest College in Illinois, and on to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and finally to Santa Barbara City College in California. Her primary artistic training took place over a four year period of study with celebrated California landscape painter, Michael Drury. Perko, ever one to express herself succinctly, recollects that her serious studies as an artist began only ten years ago.

The artist, her husband and her two daughters live in Santa Barbara, California. When asked about the artists whom she found most influential in her artistic development Perko sites the work of Emily Carr, Thomas Hart Benton, Diego Rivera, Robert Delauney and Georgia O'Keeffe.

II. SGTV Video

"Angela Perko: New Paintings, 2009"
Assembled by Nathan Vonk
Written and Narrated by Susan Bush


III. An Analysis of the Artist's Work

Angela Perko has employed the "Seven's" reliance on bright colors with her own ability to reduce a painting's composition to a field of planes, each celebrating a color which at times is dissonant and at times harmonic to neighboring colors. Despite her efforts to flatten her planes of color, the artist manages to create paintings of remarkable depth and energy. Perko eschews the Group of Seven's reliance on the impact of brushstroke. Her work is characterized by a flat color field with little evidence of brushstroke.

I started painting landscapes mostly to be outside. Painting became my personal dialogue with naure. I was never concerned with accurately documenting a place, instead the paintings were attempts to conjure the essential nature of the subject and my own connection to it.
Generally, the picture plane is flattened to emphasize the relationship between objects and to bring the viewer more closely into the scene. Forms are stylized and colors are enhanced or left pure. Compositions are chosen to create rhythm and balance. The struggle is to obtain unity. It should be balanced, but not quite, precise but not perfect. Life should be sense just under the surface. - Angela Perko


Storm Clouds
2004
12" x 9"
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: Angela Perko, 2005

In this painting, Perko's strong sense of design and bold geometry come together to create an especially dramatic rain cloud coming in off the coast.


Coastal Oak Abstract
2003
18" x 14"
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: Angela Perko, 2005

In this work, Perko forgoes representation altogether, creating a complex and energetic composition which expresses the feeling of seeing a grove of California oaks along the local coastline.


Coastal Oak Abstract
2003
18" x 14"
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: Angela Perko, 2005

In this work, Perko forgoes representation altogether, creating a complex and energetic composition which expresses the feeling of seeing a grove of California oaks along the local coastline.


Emerson Avenue
2004
40" x 30"
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: Angela Perko, 2005
FADA, 2004
In Search of America: Art of the American Scene, 2004

Emerson Avenue is a particularly spectacular work which blends the artist's stylized depiction of architecture with a rhythmic vertical sweep of hills and trees. The title refers to a street in Santa Barbara which overlooks the Santa Barbara mission. The work perfectly captures the charming way in which the architecture in that area blends in to its natural surroundings even if isn't a precise representation of the scene.

IV. Exhibitions

  • 2004 "Face to Face: A Selection of American Portraits", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2005 "Angela Perko", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2007 "Angela Perko", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2009 "Angela Perko: New Paintings", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2011 "Angela Perko, 2011", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2013 "Angela Perko, 2013", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA

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