RECEPTION: Saturday, October 22 6-8 pm
Open Sky, an exhibition of new paintings by Joachim Kersten, will be on display October 22-November 23 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Saturday, October 22, 6:00-8:00 p.m. The show will include large-scale and smaller paintings, as well as works on paper. As the exhibition title suggests, Kersten's abstract pieces signify a certain sense of vastness and liberation. Bound only by the edges of the pictorial space, richly pigmented areas of colors and shapes interact freely on the surface as they recede into and emerge out of numerous visual dimensions.
"Joachim Kersten tracks down a basic structure in what is visible & perceptible. He is skeletonizing the fleeting moment, taking away all the superficial & accidental, uncovering genuine insights." - Friedolin Kleuderlein
Kersten filters a wealth of visual information down to its purest essence of color, shape, and texture. His process includes the formation of multiple layers, first by building up parts of the blank canvas, then through the ongoing addition (and reduction) of pigments and varnishes. This manipulation of materials results in painterly, tactile surfaces with many visual planes and points of entry for the viewer. It also adds drama, depth, and a sense of the infinite. In addition, the complex system of layering illuminates a history of each painting's evolution through mark making. Elements of elapsed time exist as well in the patina that develops from chemical reactions throughout the surface. In the end, the artist creates a unique environment within each piece-abstract and expressive, and at times loosely evoking ideas of landscape, the human form, and Earth's geological metamorphosis.
Gems I contains an assortment of delicately balanced spheres that float rhythmically around the canvas. Clean, translucent shapes are paired against mottled, eroded ones, alluding to a larger conversation about visual parity within the same space-each element is made stronger by the utilization of its opposite (clean/dirty, shiny/matte, perfect/damaged). Situated atop and within geometric fields of color, they move in and out of the canvas's depths, constantly blurring the line between foreground and background. The painting's elements are simultaneously individual and fused together, creating a unique juxtaposition of surface tension and harmony.
Joachim Kersten breathes life into nonrepresentational subject matter to construct ethereal environments that ar e both cerebral and emotive. The result is a multifaceted sensory experience for the viewer, who may at once engage the work from visual, cognitive, and emotional perspectives.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
With a career spanning nearly three decades, Joachim Kersten has exhibited work throughout his native Germany and in the United States as well. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Germany in Munich, Nuremberg, and Bamberg, among other cities, in addition to shows in Macedonia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Nationally, his work has been shown in Fort Worth, Dallas, Atlanta, and at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska, where he held a prestigious post as artist-in-residence in 1993.
His work appears in many public and private collections, including those of the cities of Munich and Nuremberg, the Municipal Bank of Nuremberg, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Mittelfranken, and Texas Christian University, to name a few. Corporate collections include KPMG, Universa Insurance, and German Telekom AG, among many others.
Born in Bamberg, Germany, Joachim Kersten currently lives and works in both Nuremberg and Fort Worth. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg in 1987, and was named Debutant-Grand of the Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Culture in 1991.