Artistic Statement

‘I’m re-imagining nature — entangled in the void of spacetime.’

My curved canvases are a way of initiating events. Distributing distinct expressions and reciprocal marks to the surface geometry, from all sides and angles, in ways that cannot be achieved on the flat picture plane – yet the results of the work are always presented in the flat form. A metaphor for how we observe.

Since 2004, I’ve been evolving this aesthetic thought. A style of abstraction that is deeply rooted in the present context of a multi-dimensional universe and the way nature itself could be.

Undulating membrane surface

Undulating linen canvas showing paint pourings.


Membrane Art exhibition: Adelaide Convention Centre, 2014

Membrane Art exhibition: Adelaide Convention Centre, 2014

Preamble (my thought processes)

I find it a worthwhile challenge trying to imagine a new kind of abstraction, beyond what has already been done. For me Membrane Art is an open door to endless possibilities. Heavily dependent upon the geometric surfaces (nature) which underpins it – yet, in the end, you never truly know what you’re going to be looking at until you unroll it.

Recognising that the surface membrane creates the basic structure for the artwork is only the beginning. Results can either echo, connect and/or entangle themselves in ways that cannot be achieved in our flat dimensional world. It shows that the markings have come from somewhere else – where expression and sculpture unite — which is why I consider this approach neither painting nor sculpture.

Creating a different kind of abstraction is born out of a need to sculpturally define our multi-dimensional universe. It shows a world that we cannot observe directly, yet we know it exists. So the meaning may appear latent but the premise and execution of the artwork is far from it. Like a particle that can appear in many places at once, reciprocal markings appear as unique expressions that provide content and dynamic relationships.

There certainly is a sense of freedom by working in this way. Creating a gestural response that is deeply-rooted in the present context of quantum physics yet not bound by its mathematical theorems, provides an artistic licence to explore.

The truth is we are limited by our reality — we remain trapped on the surface of a flat universe. Although, we may try to ‘jazz-it-up’, over conceptualise and garner attention with meaningful issues, it is not what interests me as an artist. I prefer to allow expression to exist through provoking a different kind of beauty. To allow it to naturally manifest and contradict known assumptions.

How can life evolve out of no information? Is it the void that brings you in? As each artwork unfolds, I ask myself these questions as I analyse each resulting mark. There is a different kind of sensitivity that harbours in the expressions that is different to the ‘violent’ method deployed by Lucio Fontana1. An artist who rejected the traditional constraints of painting and sculpture and embraced paradoxes, destroying physical and intellectual traditions in order to create new discoveries. My drill hole and saw-cut approach (quantum brushstrokes) is inspired by his ideas.

Painting today needs possibilities, to go beyond a rehashed post-Minimalist or process-based ideas from the ’60s and ’70s, and discover a beauty that it can call its own2.

1 Lucio Fontana on Artsy

2Observer article: Are Painters Out of Ideas?

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On display: Work in progress, prior to being stretched to a frame.

Quantum Brushstrokes: Saw cut expressions by Malcolm Koch

Malcolm Koch at work: Saw cut expressions (Quantum Brushstrokes)

Malcolm Koch at work - drill hole expressions

Malcolm Koch at work: Drill hole expressions (Quantum Brushstrokes)


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About Membrane Art_2016

Catalogue of paintings 2016