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Earthly Delights

Andrew Kooistra, BFA51, who has studied with such illustrious artists as Willem de Kooning and Max Beckmann, painted Garden in 2011. Rendered in oils on linen canvas, the work pays subtle homage to the Persian-influenced paintings once popular in India—especially those from the princely state of Kangra, with their focus on the theme of love.

“I have tried to set a sensual mood through my use of form, shape, color, line, and texture,” Kooistra writes. “I want to awaken a happy and lyrical feeling in the observer, the kind of feeling that I imagine envelops the romantic young couple embracing in the right-hand corner.” As in many Kangra paintings, though, what the observer notices first is not the couple but the flourishing natural world. Here that means the deep blue water and brilliant orange fish of the pond, around which riotous, outsized plant life blooms.

Kooistra, a widely exhibited painter who taught art in public high schools for thirty-eight years, lives with his wife, Ingeborg, in Napanoch, New York.

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