Words

At first glance, Petra Kost 's paintings often appear abstract, but when we get into one of her works, take our time to appreciate the colours, shapes, and soft transitions, the play of warm and cold tones, a touch of red in a faded blue, we soon  perceive a landscape, water, a horizon. Grasses in the turquoise of the water, a splash of white, and in it a huddled figure, dangling in its midst, like a freshly born chick. Occasionally, lattice structures, such as fruit nets from the fish market or other woven fabrics, superimpose the colour surface with other overtones.

For Petra Kost, the canvas is a test lab where you can experiment, for example, by combining acrylic and oil paints:
"Experimenting, allowing yourself to be carried away, working against the grain."
"Painting is dialogue and meditation for me. The painting is my collaborator. I am looking for the essence of the scene, the spirit of the moment. “
" A work starts with a decision about technique, a first idea of how I should approach the composition of the picture. Then I dive into the painting process: create, destroy, change the direction. Sometimes the picture reveals the next step, sometimes I consciously add a new element, a new shape or colour. The process ends when the image has the right tension, balance and message. The image must have its own soul, its own secrets, its own stories to tell. There must be space for the viewer to experience his own impressions again and again”.

This is how it is when Petra Kost reaches for the camera at night and captures sparking light and reflections, transforming the real place into a cosmic phenomenon.

Thomas Sello (Hamburger Kunsthalle)


Petra Kost, born in Hamburg and artistically active for many years, became a partner in the Galerie-Atelier Kunstwerk am Fischmarkt in 2007. The national and international exhibitions in which her work has appeared so far are evidence of a wide range of motifs, techniques and forms of presentation.

However, what particularly characterizes the work of Petra Kost is a joy for experiment, a passionate dance on the border between figurative and abstract, a brave exploration of new facets to her wide artistic possibilities.

She likes to work in projects and series. She alternates from working with acrylic, watercolor and ink on paper, currently focusing on oil and acrylic on canvas. The palpable warmth of the brush stroke and the way colour is applied, is partly offset by the cool and blemish-free aesthetic of photography.

A recurring theme in her work is the pre-occupation with water: physically as the sea and industrial ports - metaphysically as a symbol of emotion, of more or less profound and constant transformation.

Petra Kost's paintings do not impose themselves, they give space: ostensibly tangible moods melt and dissolve, imperceptibly adding to their allure.
The unlimited imagination of the viewer, perhaps even the unconscious, is called upon to interpret what he sees, and to develop his own understanding of the work.

Dr. Barbara Müller-Wesemann (Universität Hamburg)