JEFF KELLAR opens Feb. 21 at William Campbell Contemporary Art
February 21 – March 21, 2015
Saturday, February 21
6:00 – 8:00 pm
|Jeff Kellar: Paintings and Sculptures, an exhibition of new two- and three-dimensional artwork, will be on display February 21 through March 21 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. The gallery will host an opening reception on Saturday, February 21, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The show will include pieces from two of Kellar’s most recent bodies of work, the Blocks and Glimpse series. With a focus on pure visual elements, Kellar examines not only how his non-referential art behaves within a prescribed space, but also how it interacts with viewers both collectively and individually. “I‘m interested in the way emotions are affected by the perception of space,” he says, “emotions created by one‘s awareness of existing in physical space and consciousness of that act of perception.”
Blocks features abstract geometric paintings accompanied by smaller wooden cube sculptures that echo the hard edges and color palettes of their two-dimensional counterparts. The nonrepresentational pieces conjure a broad, universal aesthetic as they carve out both positive and negative space within their surroundings. The absence of diagonals creates visual stability, underscoring what the artist calls an “economy of line and space.”
The Blocks paintings-or constructions-consist of aluminum panels coated in layers of a clay resin/pigment mixture. The layers are then polished, incised, and buffed, producing the illusory depth of field and perception play that Kellar continually seeks. Such spatial considerations extend into his cube sculptures, which are constructed of wood and covered in the same resin as the paintings. Of the relationship between the two media, he remarks: “The sculptural quality of the [two-dimensional] surface…connects these paintings to the methods that I use in my three-dimensional work. The thinness of the panel and the way the panel floats on the wall are two sculptural aspects that are important to me.”
Distilled down to shape, line, and color like the Blocks paintings, Kellar’s Glimpse series narrows the focus for a less universal and more intimate examination of the immediate space. Flashes of pigment, offered as if the viewer is looking through a fence or a set of blinds, hint at a potential narrative. Additionally, the contrasting striations play with viewer perception: Are we inside or outside the scene? Are we participants or voyeurs?
As Kellar describes it, his art “explores the relationships between illusion and materiality.” What initially appear to be slick, minimalist pieces are actually heavily manipulated assemblages. Paintings straddle the line between two and three dimensions, as carefully applied strata of medium take on a dynamic quality, protruding and receding to evoke the illusion of depth atop the flat surface. The block sculptures further punctuate the physicality of the work, complementing the paintings in shape and color, while also creating a visual and physical anchor. Situated entirely in the same space as the viewer, they reinforce the artist’s awareness of and interest in the myriad effects of space on art and onlooker. Every aspect of Kellar’s art informs-and is informed by-the area it occupies.
He explains: “In locating yourself geographically people talk of triangulation. Two points form a line; three points place the line in space. In a similar way, the two dimensions of this flat painting connect with the viewer to extend the illusionary space of the painting to the real space of the gallery and to place the viewer in that space… It is almost like connecting the dots. You connect the dots to form the space.”
|ABOUT THE ARTIST
A highly acclaimed painter and sculptor for more than two decades, Jeff Kellar has exhibited work across the United States, including venues in New York, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, as well as throughout his home state of Maine. A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, most recently, he won the coveted Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Individual Support Grant in 2014. Additional awards include the Purchase Prize at the Portland Museum of Art’s 2007 Maine Biennial and aGood Idea Grant in Digital Printmaking from the Maine Arts Commission in 2005.
Kellar’s art has been featured in many publications, among them THE magazine,Sculpture magazine,the Boston Sunday Herald, the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Philadelphia Inquirer,and the Portland Phoenix. His work also appears in a recent book titledMaine Art New by Edgar Allen Beem, as well as in the 2007 Main Biennial exhibition catalog published by the Portland Museum of Art.
Kellar’s paintings appear in various collections, including those of the Portland Museum of Art, the University of Maine, the Maine Department of Conservation, and Microsoft, among others. He has taught at the University of Maine at Farmington and at the Haystack School of Crafts, and has held several artist-in-residence positions. He also served for two years on the Maine Arts Commission Advisory Panel.
Jeff Kellar received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and has also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Fleisher Memorial Art Institute in Philadelphia.
|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.
Permanent link to this article: http://artgroupsdfw.com/exhibits-events/jeff-kellar-opens-feb-21-at-william-campbell-contemporary-art/