In KAC’s latest Interview, Houston-based painter and professor Bradley Kerl shares an inside look into what originally focused his creative journey towards painting, where his body of work is headed and exciting news about his growing family.
Kerl's work at Texas Contemporary Art Fair, 2016.
Kerl's site-specific still life set at Gensler, Houston.
Mokha Laget, "Southern Wing"
Kinzelman Art Consulting is celebrating the completion of a two-story geometrical wall mural, Color Field, commissioned by artist Mokha Laget, represented locally with Gallery Sonja Roesch. Although Laget was undoubtedly influenced by her time as Gene Davis’s studio assistant, her work is deeply rooted in her own distinct exploration of color composition and shape precision. KAC took advantage of Laget’s four day Houston visit to discuss her artistic process, cultural influences and life balance.
KAC: The painting commissioned for Johnson Law Group is part of a larger body of work. What was the catalyst for this series of forms and have they always been a part of your visual dialogue?
ML: The image for this commission originated from several drawings based on mosaics. The idea was to scale up the tessellation to a monumental scale for the architectural space. Last year I took a trip to Morocco and stopped in the historical ruins of an old Roman town. 2000 years later the mosaics were virtually intact, and the geometry is still universal. I made a series of works based on those patterns but exploded the rigid predictability so that the motifs began floating in space. I then integrated the idea of perceptual ambiguity so that depending on where you stand, the elements of the piece appear at once to come forward or recede to invisible vanishing points. Much of my work plays on perceptual ambiguity.
Mapping out "Southern Wing", credit: Mokha Laget
KAC: This painting is much more complex than meets the eye and the completed work will be the result of multiple steps and extreme attention to detail. Will you please describe the process that goes into a wall painting like this?
ML: As with all of my paintings, the preparation sketch is a small pencil drawing on graph paper. From these I select a specific configuration to further develop. Color, however, is never planned in advance. In the case of a mural, I create a more detailed sketch and envision several color schemes that can change at the last minute. For this project, I wrote software code to create a computer representation and refine the color selection. I work with an engineer who takes my program and generates what looks like pages of numbers but is actually a series of mathematical equations to generate coordinates that allow us to modify or laser plot the image in the correct scale onsite.
KAC: What is the largest painting you've completed to date?
ML: In 2007 I was commissioned by the Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to create a 450’ x 50’ street painting on 8th St NW. It was part of a citywide Color School revival. I called it Gene’s Jubilee as a nod to Gene Davis, a Washington Color School painter. I worked as his studio assistant for 4 years and when he died suddenly, I was asked to design the first street painting below the National Museum of American Art where his memorial exhibition was. That was in 1987 then I reprised a different color scheme for the 2007 painting. You had to be on a rooftop or in a helicopter to see the whole thing.
KAC: You've stated that you gather creative material from your travels. Are you gathering ethereal data such as light, awareness and emotion or physical data like architectural shapes and design form and color? How do you document your discoveries?
ML: I have moved around my whole life. Travel is lifeblood; it connects the planet. Humans are not so different worldwide but their cultures and creations are. Every place I visit gives me ideas, whether it is an exotic land or my own back yard. I try to note them in my notebook every morning. They become a kind of library to draw from. I may be interested in the obscure historical use of red in India vs. Japan, or the plain shadows cast on a corrugated shelter in Africa. Light sources are tremendously important in my work, going back to my early years growing up near the Sahara. Ultimately what I paint is the sense of place, real or imagined.
Mokha Laget, "Southern Wing"
KAC: Will you speak to how your secondary role as a simultaneous French interpreter informs your work and provides balance in your life as an artist?
ML: I’ve been fortunate to have a skill, which allowed me to work as another kind of bridge builder around the world. As a simultaneous interpreter, I am engaged in quasi performance art. In art you often work alone but in language you are compelled to interact with the world and those in it. I greatly value my privacy as an artist, but I never wanted to spend my life in studio isolation. It’s important to live in your time, experience it, and strive to understand it.
KAC: What might we find in the corner of your studio?
ML: …Old maritime and aviation maps, Franco-Prussian war manuscripts, a yellow toy Citroen DS, a rusted civil war canon ball…
Portland based artist Elizabeth Atterbury talks art, inspiration, and the transition of being a new mother with KAC in our latest Interview Interview.
Myke Venable's work investigates the infinite potential and purity in shape indicating a visual representation of his own paired-down universe. From detailed sketches in an open notebook on the worktable to mathematical drawings tacked to the wall, Venable's studio is a perfect diagram of his working and theoretical process. During our visit, KAC viewed Venable's newest body of work and saw how his paintings have evolved into what they are today.
While teaching at The Art League in Houston, Venable rediscovered his love of drawing. He has since dedicated one of the largest walls in his small studio to colorful geometric explorations, mapping out on paper his ongoing study of the complex relationship between shape and color. While he views his drawings as independent works, they also serve as inspiration for shaping his large canvas and panel paintings.
The drawings come to life on wood panels covered with pristine layers of acrylic paint squeezed straight from the tube. Mixing colors, he explains, would complicate his process of instinctually matching color and shape. Venable then focuses on creating thought provoking relationships through the particular arrangement of each element on the wall.
Venable’s newest paintings cleverly juxtapose not quite symmetrical shapes with slightly irregular placements and parings. Tension builds within the negative space between the paintings as they barely touch, leaving the viewer to question whether the forms are merging together, floating apart or statically coexisting. Every combination creates a new dynamic that alters the energy of the cluster itself, therefore impacting the space in which it resides.
Hidden at the end of a beautiful lot densely populated by lush Houston greenery, Libbie Masterson's studio feels like her own personal oasis. The high ceilings and large windows yield a flood of soft natural light ideal for viewing her vast array of work including photographs, paintings, watercolors, glass mosaics and even stage set maquettes.
Masterson's lively persona is a striking counterpart to her tranquil, contemplative work. Our studio visit began with a look at her new glass mosaics, an extended exploration of her large-scale installation at the Houston Hobby Airport. These works are heavily influenced not only by Masterson's affinity for nature, but also music. Masterson shared her life-long fantasy of composing a symphony, and explained to KAC how she incorporates this hidden passion into her work by listening to songs on repeat and allowing the music to dictate the emotional direction of each mosaic.
The imaginative glass compositions provide a splash of color to Masterson's otherwise monochromatic studio, filled with icy landscape photographs of deep grays, blues, and whites. These mesmerizing and meditative photos are back-lit and displayed as illuminated light boxes. Masterson walked us through the rewarding process of working with the light boxes, and calculating the perfect hue and strength of light to properly enhance the imagery without overpowering it.
Masterson’s dream project: set design for an entire opera! Her infinite sources of inspiration and matching talent pose a promising future of endless possibilities and exploration. Be sure to attend her upcoming exhibition, opening September 10th 2016 at Catherine Couturier Gallery, who represents Masterson in Houston.
Texas based artist, Michael Kennaugh, talks art with KAC. In this exclusive interview Kennaugh describes his experience in the growing Houston art scene and the colorful inspiration behind his process. He also reveals a glimpse into his forthcoming body of work.
Michael Kennaugh, artist
Garbriel Orozco at the Jumex Collection
After our recent visit to Mexico City, it is clear that the city’s burgeoning art scene lives up to its hype. After being introduced to several impressive Mexico City galleries at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, we were excited to explore what else the city had to offer. During our stay, we managed to visit multiple museums and galleries, an artist’s studio, and two art fairs, Zona Maco and Material. Every experience left us continually impressed by the fresh perspective within this growing arts community. Below are a few of our favorite works from the weekend.
Julieta Aranda at the OMR Gallery Nancy Rubins at Gagosian Gallery
KAC's Adrienne Johnson at Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today at the Jumex Collection
Elizabeth Atterbury at Document Space
Carlos Irijalba at Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz
Kim Ye at JAUS Kim Ye (detail) at JAUS
Imi Knoebel at Von Bartha Gallery
As part of our biannual art rotation on HOK Architect's striking black signature wall, we are pleased to present David Aylsworth's dynamic painting titled Miss Farrah Fawcett from TV (for Ethan). Aylsworth's work is also being shown currently in Inman Gallery's newest exhibition: David Aylsworth: Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea which opens January 8th and runs through February 20th. We are excited to support the expert work of Houston's own David Aylsworth.
For Aylsworth, the action of painting is an intuitive process of discovery where the objective of perfection and precision is left behind. His paintings are laboriously constructed of innumerable layers of textured paint, often in shades of white, and vibrant shapes that infer depth and vitality. While most of Aylsworth’s works are titled with and inspired by lyrics from musicals, Miss Farrah Fawcett from TV (for Ethan) is based on a drawing by his young nephew. Regardless of his muse, the paintings are always created from a place of exploration and authenticity.
After 4 days, 8 art fairs, and nearly 700 gallery booths, we are eager to report a selection of the many impressive artworks on view in Miami this week. Reflecting back, we picked up on a recurring theme that we see as a sign of the times: many artists are creating work that evidences the ubiquitous presence of technology in society, while others are returning to handmade traditional craft media such as ceramic and textile. Here is selection of our favorite finds from Art Basel, Untitled, Pulse, NADA, and Miami Project.
Detail: Diana Guerrero-Maciá, Siblings of the Sun, 2015, wool, cotton, thread on Belgian linen.
Detail: Alex Dodge, Belfast, 2015, oil on canvas.
We previewed the fifth edition of the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, and wanted to share some of our first impressions and stand-out works. We encourage everyone to attend the fair and post your faves with #LetsTalkArt. Stay tuned for more highlights throughout the weekend from Kinzelman Art via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. If you would like more information on these works feel free to contact us.
With an impressive roster of 140 galleries from around the world, EXPO Chicago has delivered a vast selection of world class contemporary art. We are spending the weekend in the windy city to explore the many high-caliber art works and art programs on view. After our first day at the fair, a number of works have already caught our eye.
Impressive biographical works by McArthur Binion, Sketch VII and VIII (Looking for Grey): For: Three Movements of Sunlight, 2013, laser print collage, oil paint stick, and Staonal crayon on panel, at Kavi Gupta Gallery
We had the chance to preview Mie Olise’s exhibition with the artist at Barbara Davis Gallery. After meeting Mie and enjoying her new body of work, it is clear her career is poised to reach new heights. The show opens Friday, May 1st and will run through June 12th. Contact us with inquiries.
Mie Olise with Woodlands (back wall) and Entering Closer (right wall)
Mie Olise with Entering Closer
This year, the Dallas Art Fair played host to nearly 100 galleries. We enjoyed exploring and admiring the breadth of top-notch art exhibited. After seeing it all, here is a shortlist of our most coveted works. Reach out to us if you are interested in more information about these or other artists we found.
We braved the frigid New York temperatures to explore what this spring's New York art fairs had to offer. Below are a few of our highlights from The Armory Show, SCOPE, art on paper, VOLTA, and Pulse. While we were in Chelsea, we also made a stop at Morgan Lehman Gallery to check out their current Aaron Wexler show.
The swooping and spiraling James Surls sculptures stole the show at HFAF this year, and of the many other beautiful programs on view, we especially enjoyed Art Nouveau Gallery and Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Below are some of our most coveted finds at this year's fair.
What happens when an interior and product designer builds his own home AND loves art? A complete masterpiece! A bold sense of design and unflinching aesthetic permeates each small detail. Designed with art in mind, the home naturally creates visual frames for ideal viewing from multiple vantage points allowing the art to play its own starring role.
Julie and Adrienne at Mixed Greens' booth
This fair proved to be a treasure trove of prospects (and sales!) and we walked away inspired by the works of Ron van der Ende, Jim Campell, Wayne Herpich, Claire Sherman, Anoka Faruqee, Mary Temple, Yui Yaegashi and Amie Dicke.
Bill Davenport's Big Rocket Pop