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 Michael Kessler  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Pennsylvania      Known for: biomorphic abstract painting

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Ad Code: 3
Micheal Kessler Jussive
"Jussive" Acrylic on panel 15x39
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Ann Korologos Gallery:
Michael Kessler was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania. He received a B.F.A. from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania in 1978. His awards include the Rome Prize for Painting from the American Academy in Rome in 1990, and a Pollock/Krasner Award in Painting in 1992.

Kessler's work has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad, and has been featured in over 70 solo exhibitions since 1983. His paintings are widely collected and appear in over 20 museum collections in the US, including the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Kessler lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Biography from a third party submitted on 10/16/2009:
Artist Statement:

I’ve been making paintings now for 30 years and while the work continues to evolve it is not likely that and great changes will occur.  The vision has developed slowly and methodically over many many long days in the studio.  To a great extent I’m more interested in the crystallization of my work than continual diversity. The work, as it is today, constitutes the sum of many many hard-won discoveries that emerged in the midst of an ocean of experimentation.  Therefore it is highly unlikely that I will just throw them out the window and start fresh.

That being said I have recently expanded my work to include a new range of color particularly into the cool side of the spectrum which is blue and green.  I have also expanded the scale of my work to the dimensions of 60”x80” which is twice the size of my previous field.  Compositionally the work seems to be moving increasingly toward the synthesis of two separate levels/fields which are carefully brought into relationship with each other.  Traditionally this was known as figure/ground but in my work these identities are constantly shifting and never frozen or rigidly defined.  In other words the figure and the ground are constantly flipping back and forth but not in a trite or easily-perceived manner as in say the work of M.C. Esher but more possibly in the way that the cubists constructed space and objects.

So there is a constant shifting of properties and yet certain hierarchies do begin to emerge as you study the work.  It is my intent that within these shifting matrix identities suggests themselves and one is transported through a vast array of aspects and properties of the universe.  So the viewing experience I’m setting up is not simply a bunch of pleasing shapes/colors/textures etc. but that during the viewing experience one is actually transported through imaginary space and time to places unknown.  To some extent I’m interested in contributing to the continued development of contemporary painting although being “historically significant’ is not my aim.

My journey is more personal than that and to a great extent my work is about a visual experience for me. In other words painting is my way of visualizing the universe. It’s my way of experimenting with science and it’s my way to feel the hidden/invisible aspects of the world around me and within me. In this latest group of work it is the transitions and juxtapositions of diverse and related aspects that occupies the majority of my attention.  Setting up contrasts in all variety of material including contrasts in color/texture/intensity etc. is what leads my activities.

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