Ken Nevadomi is active/lives in Ohio. Ken Nevadomi is known for chaotic, mysterious abstract figure and genre painting.
Biography from Aspire Auctions, Cleveland
"1988 CLEVELAND ARTS PRIZE FOR VISUAL ARTS
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Ken Nevadomi’s paintings are as mysterious today as they were at the
beginning of his career. The figure, whether human or animal, is
paramount in his works, but the viewer has to interpret the world in
which it exists. His paintings recall artists from cubism to surrealism
but his influences are much broader. Ideas for his paintings may come
from earlier artists, films, magazines or life filtered through his
On a trip to California in his youth he became interested
in cartoon art and certainly some paintings suggest that source.
From his early paintings to his present production Nevadomi’s
brushstrokes and color have changed in various ways as befits the
painting. However, the bold intensity of his subject matter remains
Figures and animals find themselves caught in violent struggle
with known and unknown adversaries, giving the works great power and
Figures run from beasts, hide in refrigerators, float through
the air or water, or merely contemplate their evidently forced
confinement. They play cards or hang out in bars, but we never know why.
Critics suggest that his work reflects social commentary, but Nevadomi
refers to it instead as “social expressionism.” The audience often sees
in his enigmatic subject matter a sometimes frightening, sometimes
humorous reflection on the human condition that conveys man’s fragile
place in a turbulent and inexplicable society.
Ken Nevadomi does not add an artist’s statement to his works when they
appear in exhibitions and does not explain of his complicated subjects.
We find some hints in the titles of his paintings and in the works he
makes in series—some refer to war and to Hitler and some to ancient
mythology—but we are forced to interpret for ourselves.
Nevadomi encourages the viewer to take part in the work of art by
supplying his own story.
He has, however, indicated how he arrives at the finished work. Like his
subjects and changing style, Nevadomi’s ideas go in various directions.
When he begins a painting, he lets it take him where it leads, and he
does not usually make preliminary compositional drawings.
finished works of art on paper suggest the same random thought process.
Both paintings and drawings indicate the struggle he says it takes to
arrive at his finished work. For all the apparently random movement, the
thickly applied paint or the suggestively muted charcoal drawings, his
carefully realized compositions and figures reflect a classical training
and a deep understanding of human anatomy.
Nevadomi constantly experiments with compositions and media. He
continues to produce his complicated “strip paintings,” which are
canvases cut into strips and woven back together to construct an
entirely different composition. Superficially akin to synthetic cubism,
these works instead rearrange the still-recognizable composition into an
expressive, exploding arrangement of form.
Some of the smaller works
veer away from the figure into still life. He has also joined two
dissimilar compositions to suggest new and interesting compositional and
contextual relationships. As a respected artist and teacher, Nevadomi
has shown that the dominance of painting as a medium persists into the
A native Clevelander born in 1939, Ken Nevadomi earned his B.F.A. in
1972 from Columbus College of Art and Design and his M.F.A. in 1975 from
Kent State University. His paintings have appeared in over 40 juried
shows and at least 10 one-man shows since 1975, and he has won three
individual artist grants from the Ohio Arts Council.
His work appeared
in many May Show exhibitions, and he won first prize for painting in
1975. He paints from a studio on the west side and is currently
professor of painting at Cleveland State University."
—Diane De Grazia
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