"The tradition of landscape painting is just as vital a branch of the contemporary art world as any other. It is a wild, risk-taking, dangerous and mysterious undertaking." –Philip Koch
Koch is well known for his colorful, panoramic landscapes. Less known is that he was originally an abstract artist. A pivotal event for him was seeing the work of Edward Hopper. It inspired him early in his career to change to painting in a realist direction. Koch has been given unprecedented access to Hopper’s studio on Cape Cod, enjoying 17 residencies there since 1983, an honor granted to no other American artist.
Sixteen American art museums hold Koch’s work in their permanent collections. From 2015 to 2018, Koch served as the Artist in Residence at the Burchfield Penny Art Center in Buffalo, NY. He is an emeritus professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Koch is the great grandson of the Scottish landscape painter John Wallace.
“My work is based on oil paintings made from direct observation outdoors with my portable French easel instead of using photos as a source. Doing it ‘the old-fashioned way’ seems to open a mysterious door to my deeper creative side. It’s a little ironic since my grandfather John Capstaff was the inventor of the original Kodachrome film process.”