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« The Confession Line? | Main | Museum-Viewing Styles »

September 28, 2005

Ken Kewley Exhibition

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Long ago I wrote a short blog posting about Ken Kewley, an artist whose paintings and collages I love. I find Kewley's images modest, sweet, and gorgeous, as well as full of warmth, visual perceptions, and delight in form and color. They're wide-eyed but ornery. And they put me in mind of the work of David Park, Vanessa Bell, Elmer Bischoff, David Milne -- bloat-free, unpushy talents whom critics and historians seldom rank as modernist major leaguers, yet whose work often gives me far more yummy pleasure than does that of the recognized alpha-geniuses.

Kewley: Chocolate Cake with Mango (2000)

I notice that Kewley is currently having a show in New York City. It's at Lori Bookstein Fine Art, 37 West 57th Street, 3rd Floor, and it runs through October 28. I'll be visiting soon. You can taste-test some of Kewley's art at his own very generous website. (I lifted the image above from chez Kewley.)



posted by Michael at September 28, 2005



Thanks for the intro to Ken Kewley's work. His flat interlocking planes of strong color are very appealing. Interesting that you should mention David Park and Elmer Bischoff in this post. I wonder whether Ken Kewley began his career in the Bay area. There's a definite family resemblance in the work of all three artists.

Maybe the Bay Area Painters didn't get as much respect as the New York School because there was less obvious angst in their work; less for intellectuals to get their teeth into and crow about.

David Park is a particular favorite of mine. Some of his stuff packs as much of a wallop as anything painted by an American artist in the mid-20th century.

Posted by: ricpic on September 28, 2005 5:24 PM

Bay Area modernism is often a real joy, no? I wonder why. The openness? The lack of intellectualizing? The sensual awareness? That "we aren't playing the big leagues but that's ok" quality?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 29, 2005 10:10 AM

I think the pleasure you feel from this sort of art is similar to the reason people get so much out of Rembrandt's self-portraits. Which is to say, they seem like private paintings, largely for the self-pleasure or interest of the artist. Greatness and drama are all very fine--and Rembrandt certainly invested a lot of time trying to deliver both in many other paintings--but I'd rather look at the self-portraits...they're not working so hard.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 29, 2005 1:40 PM

That's perfectly stated, tks.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 29, 2005 2:33 PM

His selection of subject proves he also has wonderful taste in food.

Posted by: annette on September 29, 2005 3:51 PM

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