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Biomorphic, Tactile Imagery: Painting by Jarmila Kostliva

An abstracted painting of a face with an active imaginationLanguage Drill, acrylic on canvas

Jarmila Kostliva was born in Prague and went on to study art within the Czech Republic – though her works have been exhibited across the world including in North America. The artist combines tropes of figurative and abstract painting to create biomorphic, tactile imagery in paint.


A painting of two red blobs with abstracted forms withinBeams on Data, acrylic on canvas

It’s quite fascinating to look at Jarmila’s works, especially in the way that she seems to use figurative painting techniques to add volume and texture to seemingly abstract forms. Whether it’s a central blob-like shape or an elongated form snaking across the entire surface of the canvas, each seems to take on a life of its own and a visible, tangible existence. As noted in our previous feature of Jarmila’s frantic paintings, each form seems to have a distinctly organic, biological feel.


A screen capture of Jarmila Kostliva's online art portfolioThe selection of recent works on Jarmila's website

The color schemes that Jarmila works with are also noteworthy. I like the way she combines dark, muddy neutrals with incredibly vibrant reds, yellows and blues. The contrast between the colors is electric and serves to create further layers over the painted surface.


A painting of a mysterious figure on a black backgroundFinal Glow, acrylic on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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