Kurt Kauper was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1966, and raised in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. He received his BFA from Boston University in 1988, and his MFA from UCLA in 1995. He has lived in New York City since 1999.
His figure paintings of historical and imagined people tend to leave expectations unfulfilled, and elide simple categorization. In contradistinction to his clear and precise articulations of form, Kauper's content is characterized by indeterminacy, unintentionality, ambiguity, fluidity, destabilization, strangeness, amorality, uselessness, and neutrality. Kauper has had solo shows at ACME Gallery in Los Angeles, Deitch Projects in New York City, Almine Rech Gallery, New York, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions both in the United States and Europe, including venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Pompidou Center in Paris, the Kunsthalle Vienna, and the Stedelijk Museum in Gent. He has received numerous awards, including grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. His work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hammer Museum, The Oakland Museum of Art, the Weatherspoon Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery.