We first encountered Wolfgang Bloch’s work several years ago. We were struck by the beauty of the surfaces and the way he captured the meditative qualities of simply sitting by the sea. Born in Ecuador, Bloch spent his formative years travelling, surfing up and down Ecuador’s glittering Pacific coastline, all the way to some of his earliest memories. “I think the reason I paint this way is because I go back to sitting in front of the ocean as a child,” Wolfgang reflects. “I’m not trying to paint the ocean, what I’m trying to do is regain that feeling I got when I was seven years old and how peaceful I felt sitting in front of this ocean.”
Bloch sees waves everywhere - in the ocean, in the grain of wood, in the core of a surfboard that he has sawed in two. Using all of these different media, Bloch creates simple, evocative paintings that transform ocean waves into otherworldly compositions of color and shape. His work captivates surfers around the world, and this first ever monograph of Bloch’s work designed by luminary David Carson features his best pieces, alongside a soulful account of the artist’s life.
Bloch attended Art Center College for Design in Pasadena where he got a graphic design degree. A surfer, he went to work for Gotcha Sportswear, but found that he longed to simply do his art.
Bloch’s quiet and careful brushwork and his seamless assemblages have, over the past two decades, combined to yield works imbued with the romanticism of William Turner and the pure expression of Mark Rothko. He is a rare artist whose hands are as guided by his dedication to craft and technique as they are by the nature of his materials and by the earnestness of his understated yet evocative experimentations.