Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to present new work by Kurt Kauper.
For the entirety of his career, Kurt Kauper has explored the communicative possibilities of form by investigating figurative representation. While his subject matter has included contemporary celebrities, athletes, political figures and opera divas, real and imagined, his works are executed with the technical acuity of an Old Master drawing – the kind he fell in love with as an art-obsessed kid.
In conversation with Brian Alfred, the artist commented, “I’m interested in traditional representation. The question for me is always, how am I going to modify that form so that the viewer looks at it as if they have never encountered that form before? I think that is formalism.”
Consistently Kauper allows his work to track what he calls the ambiguity of “the place where the decisions are made.” Narratives may be suggested, conventional notions of gender and sexuality are frequently confronted, but no attempt is made to resolve meaning through subject matter. Inspired by the audacious formal experimentation of Ingres as well as the evocative light and shadows in the work of Van der Goes, Bronzino and Holbein, Kauper’s canvases derive their emotional force through pictorial structure and the subtleties of color values. Despite the extraordinary clarity in the depiction of form, the artist’s subject remains enigmatic. His light-infused flesh tones offer no clear story as to how they came to be. Yet the lure of their existence speaks volumes.
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 MFA from UCLA in 1995. For the past 20 years he has lived and worked in New York City. Kauper’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions with Almine Rech Gallery, New York, Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, and Deitch Projects, New York as well as ACME Gallery in Los Angeles. His paintings can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Oakland Museum of Art, the Weatherspoon Museum, North Carolina, and the Yale University Art Gallery. The Pompidou Center in Paris, the Kunsthalle Vienna, and the Stedelijk Museum in Gent have included his work in group exhibitions. He is the recipient of grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. He is currently a Professor of Art at Queens College in New York City.