Friday, June 5, 2009

Surface builder, Michael Kessler.

I was introduced to the artwork of Michael Kessler through Nuart Gallery in Santa Fe, NM while on a trip a few months back. More recently he has started showing at Mark Gallery, the New Jersey gallery that represents my work.

Kessler's work is comprised of multiple layers of paint applied in a process that he has created over thirty five years as an artist and to see it in person just blew me away. The depth in each piece created by layering paint is stunning. His compositions are bold and the small details draw you into his work. Each time you see some detail that you missed the time.

There is a solidity and an honesty to his work that makes me attracted to it.

Here is Kessler's artist statement:
Nature provides the basis upon which my work exists. Thirty-five years ago I began by painting landscapes, but through prolonged and careful observation it was the inner-dynamics of the natural world that grasped my attention. The questions of how and why nature looked the way it did began to drive my work. I began to sensitize myself to the natural processes that were responsible for the appearance of the natural world like sedimentation and erosion. Gradually my painting process took on the characteristics of these natural processes. I invented the process and that process created the images that became my paintings. The process involves the application of many layers of marks and skins. A sandwich of information is built up to reveal the passage of time and it’s own creation. Structures both organic and geometric are laid down under and between translucent skins of paint. These skins are applied with a variety of trowel-like tools I’ve invented or adapted. The pressure used during the application of a skin determines the degree to which the underlying structures and gestures appear or disappear. Much of the initial painting is buried beneath subsequent layers of paint but remains visible to varying degrees. The main thing I want my work to convey is a sense of awe and wonder at the vast universe we can never comprehend. That is how I feel about the world we inhabit and those are the feelings I want my work to express.

You can see more of his work here and here.

"Ventana" 24" x 48"

"Santonian" 44" x 66"

"Palabra" 56" x 76"

"Olent" 30" x 40"

"Myrica" 60" x 80"

"Gilia" 85" x 65"

"Amain" 40" x 60"

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