Paintings by Michael Kessler: A Recent Survey


The Daniel Kany Gallery and the Kennebec Valley Art Association are proud to present “Paintings by Michael Kessler: A Recent Survey” which will run from February 2nd to 25th. This is a first collaboration between the two galleries.  According to curator, Daniel Kany: “I opened my eponymous gallery in Portland at the very end of 2006, and I appreciate the Harlow Gallery’s reaching out to help me establish a place in Maine’s art community. I am originally from Central Maine, so working with the Harlow feels particularly rewarding.”

Michael Kessler’s rhythmic and elegantly layered geometric abstractions are held in museums and major collections throughout the country. This small exhibition features a broad range of work from the past fifteen years. While the compositions of Kessler’s heavily-layered acrylic works are based in hard-edged geometric painting, they are not hiding measured mathematical formulas: their rhythms are loose and opulently musical. The Santa Fe artist’s paintings reveal themselves in time: while they might seem tightly controlled at first, they ultimately revel in lush tonality and the complexities of layering, color, transparency and texture. Kessler often speaks about his work in music terms: rhythms, tones, the role of improvisation, time, layering, color, and the range of emotions and feelings that we rarely articulate.

“These works are the result of veiled accumulations of paint in time,” Says the artist of his work: “A veil can be beautiful in itself, but also announces that something is underneath. What is there is another layer–another gesture as expansive as the painting itself. I work not only with color, but texture, transparency, luminosity, and rhythm. My geometries are not the result of measured formulae, but of sensibilities steeped in the love of painting. I try to bring the energy from the process of making to the process of seeing. My paintings are not about some hidden narrative: they are about what you see.”

Michael Kessler has won major awards such as the Rome Prize of the American Academy and the prestigious Pollock/Krasner Award. His works are included in major museums throughout the United States, including: The New Museum of Contemporary Art (NYC), The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Columbus Museum of Art, among many others.