James and Catherine Koenig
Mid-Century Paintings

Paintings from the 1940-60's

Friday, March 28, 2008-Saturday, April 26, 2008

James and Catherine Koenig

Mid-Century Paintings

Please contact the gallery concerning availability of works from past exhibits.


Catherine C. Koenig was born Caterina Catanzaro in 1921 and grew up on the West side of Buffalo, NY. She graduated from Lafayette High School Buffalo in 1939. She exhibited talent for drawing and painting early on and attended Albright Art School, where she graduated with an Associate’s Degree in 1942.

Her professional career as an artist began in the 1940s when she started to exhibit her work. From 1946-1956 she taught drawing and painting at the Art Institute of Buffalo. She married James R. Koenig in 1947. During the fifties she worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for several Western New York area department stores and ad agencies. She was also actively working on portraiture throughout her career. Catherine taught drawing at the University at Buffalo from 1961- 1979. She also taught at Niagara Community College and ran classes out of her studio.

Her art work evolved from American realism in the forties and fifties to nature-based abstraction in the 1960s. In the seventies she developed her signature style and subject matter - a blend of realism integrating surrealist combinations of still life objects and figures. Her primary medium was egg tempera, an early Renaissance painting technique which is rare in contemporary art.

Catherine’s refined paintings and drawings have been exhibited at many sites locally and nationally including: Butler Institute of Art in Ohio, Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester, NY, Oklahoma Art Center, Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Texas, the Pennsylvania Academy of Art in Philadelphia, the Albright Knox Art Gallery, and Hallwalls Gallery in Buffalo NY as well as private galleries in Washington DC, London, New York City and Toronto. Her work is part of many public and private collections including University of Buffalo Foundation, Ball State University in Indiana, Burchfield Art Center, Buffalo and the Library of Congress. In 2003 she had concurrent retrospective exhibitions at the University at Buffalo Anderson Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. She also received a Pollack- Krasner Foundation grant.

JAMES KOENIG 1925-1998

James R. Koenig was an artist, designer and business owner who lived and worked in the Buffalo, New York area. He was a student of the Art Institute of Buffalo in the 1940s after serving and being injured as a US Army sergeant in Normandy during World War II. He graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1952. His abstract paintings have been shown at the Brooklyn Museum, Cooperstown Gallery, Chautauqua Institute, the Rochester Memorial Gallery, the Albright Knox Art Gallery and the Butler Art Institute in Ohio. He also had a career as a design director of publications and technical design at several firms in the Buffalo area. In 1977, he opened an art supply retail store called Art Tree in Buffalo, NY.

His paintings reflected many phases of American painting styles including scenes from the WPA period, abstract expressionism and geometric abstraction. His experience in design was evident in the well composed structures and surfaces in his paintings. He had an instinctive affinity for color and form, and an uninhibited bold approach to every subject that he painted.

Catalog of Exhibition:

1. “Mid Summer”, 1953
26 x 18, egg tempera

2. Karen and the Fish, 1953
22 x 30, egg tempera

3. Roller Skater, 1953
16 x 14, egg tempera
1300.00 (sold)

4. Window View, 1960
17 x 25.5, egg tempera

5. “Family Portrait”, 1952
18 x 24, egg tempera

6. Blue Abstraction
30 x 22, egg tempera

7. Boy on the Wall, 1953
20 x 16, egg tempera

8. “White Roots”, 1953
22 x 28, egg tempera

9. Girl at Piano, 1968
24 x 16, egg tempera

10. “Silver Dollars”, 1966
20 x 16, egg tempera

11. Checks, 1969
22 x 26, egg tempera

12. Children under Blanket, 1960
16 x 24, egg tempera

13. “Parade”, 1957
17 x 48, egg tempera

14. Child in Box, 1959
18 x 24, egg tempera

15. James Koenig
Circus, c.1950’s
24 x 30, oil

16. “Deafening Silence”, 1963
30 x 20, egg tempera

17. James Koenig
Waterfront, 1956
20 x 26, oil

18. “Azalea”, 1955
16 x 14, egg tempera

19. James Koenig
Lift Bridge, 1949
23.5 x 19, oil

20. James Koenig
Still life with Fruit, c.1950’s
18 x 24, oil on canvas board

21. James Koenig
Still life with Blue Vase, 1954
26 x 20, oil

22. “Gold Fish Bowl”, 1949
18 x 24, oil

23. “Tree Forms”, 1951
10 x 12, egg tempera

24. “Forty Gorge”
24 x 32, egg tempera

25. James Koenig
“Free Enterprise”, c.1940’s
20 x 26, oil on canvas board

26. Child and Tree, 1950
12 x 10, oil

27. Shell Abstraction, 1955
24 x 30, egg tempera

28. “Gems”, 1964
15 x 24, egg tempera

• Dimensions are in inches, height precedes width.
• All works are on masonite unless noted otherwise.
• Paintings are by Catherine Koenig unless noted James Koenig.
• Titles in quotes are artist titled, other works are estate titled.
• Limited edition prints are available of #7, Boy on the Wall.

Egg Tempera is a form of painting using egg yoke as the binding agent for the pigment and water as the thinning agent for the paint. Tempera dates back hundreds of years to before oil painting was invented. Leonardo de Vinci's, Last Supper and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel come to mind. The traditional technique is to paint in light cross hatching strokes to build up the image. A more modern method is to glaze many layers of color one over the other to create optical effects. The painting surface should appear fairly smooth. Pressed-wood board (masonite) is mostly used with a smooth absorbent gesso surface as the painting support. The painting will take up to nine months to cure but becomes quite tough after curing and it is not necessary to frame with glass.