Karen Kitchel : East Meets West


Karen Kitchel : East Meets West
Nov 6 – Dec 31, 2004

Robischon Gallery presents noted artist, Karen Kitchel and her newest series of highly detailed, intimately scaled oil paintings. Having recently relocated to Los Angeles from Denver, Kitchel paints a landscape of transition and expansion. This exhibit premiers a body of work that is based in Promontory Pass, Utah, the site of the "golden spike" – a culmination of scientific, financial and political forces that literally and metaphorically closed the American Frontier.

Works include Kitchel's signature close-up views of native and transplanted flora from the site, as well as a quartet of panoramas that symbolize the East vs. West dynamic. Images are all from a single day in June, from sunrise to sunset. Together, these three dozen new works present a sensation and meditation of time, light, and space: the relationship of the part to the whole.

Kitchel has lived and painted in the western United States for over twenty years. In 1979, an initial transplantation from her native Midwest to Los Angeles to attend graduate school provided a cultural and visual shock to her artistic sensibilities. Pushing through many of the trends of the moment while studying at Claremont Graduate School, Kitchel emerged with a strong commitment to handcrafted painting and land-based imagery. Her work over the last decade has focused on multi-part landscapes that are both fragmentary and epic. Her paintings have been featured in numerous exhibitions throughout the west and can be found in many venerable permanent collections, including the Denver Art Museum.