New Paintings by Michael Kessler
Gallery Bienvenu (New Orleans, LA) and Red Dot Art Fair (Miami Beach, FL)
a catalogue essay by Richard Speer
With conceptual sophistication and technical élan, celebrated painter Michael Kessler illuminates the ongoing dialogue between natural forces and the human need for order and meaning. His uncanny synthesis of action painting with hard-edged abstraction addresses the interplay of freedom and containment, organicism and infrastructure.
Kessler’s imagery evokes fossils, cells, lichen, and the branching veins of ferns and trees, contextualizing these elements within immaculate architectonic geometries. A duet between the vegetal and the digital, the painter’s body of work poses a bracingly contemporary question: Is humankind rising above the vines, tides, and shifting sands of nature or being swallowed up in them? These meditations throb, glow, and sear into the eye through Kessler’s highly personal sense of color: cool sage and mint greens, cozy redwood and desert beige, the zip of electric blue and the primal richness of red against black.
A winner of the Prix de Rome and the Pollock/Krasner Award, Kessler has seen his work exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and internationally in locales as far-flung as New York City; Chicago; Philadelphia; Rome, Italy; Göteborg, Sweden; and Cuenca, Ecuador.
He lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where his studio teems with the trowels and palette knives, gessos and varnishes that he uses to layer jaunty spurts and arcs atop serene rectilinear forms. To peer down into these layers is to peer through clear Mediterranean waters, or to gaze with X-ray vision through an archaeological dig of human civilization. As they have for millennia, chaos and technology struggle for prominence in an almost Manichean fashion—but in Kessler’s vision, these polar forces find a kind of dynamic equipoise through the power of visual and metaphysical harmony.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MICHAEL KESSLER, VISIT WWW.MICHAELKESSLER.COM
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GALLERY BIENVENU, VISIT WWW.GALLERYBIENVENU.COM
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