Karen Kitchel : Seasonal Overture
Mar 6 – Apr 17, 2010
Robischon Gallery presents "Seasonal Overture," Karen Kitchel's much anticipated, fourth solo exhibition featuring the singular series of forty, highly-detailed grass paintings on panel seen previously at the Nevada Museum of Art and the Autry National Center of the American West. Concerned with presenting the Western landscape through her characteristic meticulous painting style and particular pinpoint vantage, "Seasonal Overture" examines the perpetual cycle of the seasons from the perspective of four different locales in the West.
Embracing the natural world with a commitment to seeing it flourish in concert with human activity, the artist consistently presents the epic narrative of the landscape with an intimate view of what is often overlooked ・the grassland beneath. As in her directly related previous series "Train Track Walk" and "Natural Order: Notes on an Opera," Kitchel intentionally avoids panoramic views of the landscape. Curator Lisa Hatchadoorian of the Nicolaysen Art Museum states, "Kitchel has subverted many of the visual customs that are so ingrained in the landscape tradition such as a horizon line, overblown pictorial scale, timelessness and a breathtaking view." By de-emphasizing the monumental, Kitchel's perspective causes viewers to pause, take notice and study the most minute and elemental aspects of nature while offering a broader understanding of the land itself.
Respectfully conveying the contemporary Western landscape with specific focus, "Seasonal Overture" embraces a specific time and place. The artist's four chosen locations each express a season; the lush, green grass and robust weeds representing summer in California, orange and golden fallen leaves from autumn in Colorado, brown and desiccated grasses and seed heads rising from the winter snows in Wyoming and early spring in Montana with insistent green shoots pushing though winter's detritus. Kitchel's exacting and finely- rendered brushstrokes enliven the perpetual cycle of the landscape from nascent beginning, through vital fullness, to inevitable dormancy and eventual rebirth. Karen Kitchel brings insight and attention to the grandeur of the land through illuminated views of the landscape microcosm.
A graduate of Kalamazoo College and Claremont Graduate University, Karen Kitchel has work in numerous permanent collections, both nationally and internationally, including the Denver Art Museum, The Palm Springs Art Museum, United States Department of State Art in Embassies Program, The Ucross Foundation and The Children's Hospital of Denver, among others. The Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming is currently exhibiting the artist's retrospective entitled "A Relative Condition: The Landscape Paintings of Karen Kitchel" bringing together for the first time painting from Kitchel's cohesive thirty-year career as a unique artist of the Western landscape. On view until April 17, 2009, a full-color catalog of the retrospective exhibition is available through Robischon Gallery.