Transcendent Abstraction, a collection of new works by acclaimed painter Kevin Tolman, will be on display October 23-November 24 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Friday, October 22, 6:00-8:00 p.m. The show will feature nearly two dozen acrylic and mixed media paintings that elucidate the artist's creative journey through a physical-spiritual continuum.
Recalling New Mexico's Transcendental Painting Group, established in 1938 by Modernist painters Raymond Jonson and Emil Bisttram, Tolman seeks to create art that reaches past (transcends) the physical world to uncover a deeper visual and spiritual experience. He explains:
I have, for a very long time, had a strong belief in the power of the medium to transmit profound experience and at times even be a direct link to the metaphysical realm...even though many of my paintings may conjure up the spirit of a place, that place for me is only the jumping off point for pieces, that in the end, become a place unto themselves. A place that can help to liberate me from my everyday occupations.
Tolman's work is driven largely by process-both physical and spiritual-and it is this journey that becomes the narrative of each painting. Non-linear and highly organic, every story reveals a complex conversation among the elements. Individual lines, marks, drips, shapes, and colors do not simply exist alongside one another, but fuse together as a single pulsating force.
Tolman's quest for artistic transcendence comes to fruition in Parade-Singing to the Sky-a vast expanse of indeterminate space, primordial in its abstraction and thick with subtle layers of experience and thought. Freeform elements at once emerge from and retreat into the pigment as they carry out an ongoing discourse-eternal, alive, and suspended in time. This dialogue is most clearly noted in the paint drips, which signify movement and spontaneity, as well as the artist's ability to relinquish absolute control of his medium. Focused on attaining pure abstraction, Tolman has distilled each mark down to its most elemental state to produce a truly non-referential, universal encounter. They are newly born and untainted, as if just realized by the artist while he seeks to free himself from worldly constraints.
The artist remarks: "I am sometimes lucky enough to be so in the present that my subconscious mind seems to be accessed more freely, allowing these marks and images to be both created and discovered in a way that seems surprisingly magical to me." In this vein, Tolman manages to marry physical creativity with spiritual awareness. The resulting artwork then has the potential to provide the viewer with a stimulating visual experience and soulful escapade as well.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A native of Detroit, Michigan, who now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kevin Tolman has been painting professionally for nearly four decades. He has exhibited work in galleries, museums, and universities across the United States, including those in Fort Worth, Dallas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and New York. He has shown internationally as well, in Canada, Mexico, Portugal, France, Germany and most recently, in England's Art London exhibition.
Tolman's artwork has been featured in many publications, including Art in America, The Magazine, SouthwestArt, the Dallas Morning News, and the Albuquerque Journal, among others. His work is included in various private and public collections, among them the Albuquerque Museum of Art, the New Mexico State Capitol, Neiman Marcus, Hyatt Hotels, Bank One, Mutual of America, Union Pacific, and the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kevin Tolman is a graduate of the Art School of the Society of Arts & Crafts in Detroit. He has been represented by William Campbell Contemporary Art since 1978.
ABOUT THE GALLERY
Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.