THE MOUNTAIN SERIES


My personal fascination with mountains grew out of my formative years in the dramatic landscape of Switzerland, and has continued to evolve and deepen through immersive research/hiking/climbing adventures. The awe and humility these experiences generate is paid homage in my large-scale works, intimate studies, digital experiments, and my collection of geological samples.

Recent work focuses on the primal alpine landscape as metaphor, geological time and place beyond personal or general human scale. I’m interested in how we perceive, how scale changes that perception, how images and objects can be understood in various ways, how a sense of place can be expressed.

Topographic maps define geography, the features of landforms. Symbolic and abstract reasoning enables us to see depiction as a representation of ideas; Alfred Korzybski assertion: “the map is not the territory” and Joseph Kosuth’s visual explorations have prompted similar thoughts in my use of manipulated and layered topographical and geological maps to underscore perceiving a thing in different forms of depiction.

 Landscapes affect us physically, chemically, and psychologically; they resonate with genetically encoded instincts of which we are not conscious. Most of us in the developed world have transferred direct immersion in the power of landscape into abstract environmental concerns and digital experience. We have distanced ourselves.

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The stark images are developed mostly with ink, acrylics, and hand-ground maple charcoal, and most recently pencil on wood panels. Some materials reflect humanity’s interaction with the environment: for charcoal I cut down trees, split them to size, burn them in my stove, and hand-grind the remaining solid chunks of charcoal into a fine powder. This is contrasted by my interest in using digital technology to explore image-making in ways previously unavailable.

 
George Kozmon
2018

S T A T E M E N T