Friday, April 1, 2011

Brandon Kuehn - Painter

Sighting Outside of Kyoto #2
Brandon Kuehn

Brandon Kuehn
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Brandon Kuehn is a landscape painter who is from Minnesota originally. In 1997 he graduated from the University of Minnesota with his BFA. This year he graduated from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University with his MFA.

Sighting Outside of Kyoto #3

Tell me about your work.
For the past 20 years I have been doing more traditional landscape painting, but right now I am continuing some work that I started last year in my graduate program. My MFA thesis was about Sigmund Freud's essay "Un Heimlich" (The Uncanny) from 1916. Freud described the uncanny as seeing something we thought we knew in a different or unnatural context. It creates an eeriness that suggests the sense or power of something otherworldly. So in this body of work I'm using the innocuousness of landscape painting to set up the uncanny moment for the viewer.

Sighting Outside of Kyoto #1

"What is Art?"
That is a big question, isn't it? Well, for me I think Art needs to be bigger than ourselves. It needs to reach into a fundamental human truth. I just finished reading Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic tradition. In it, author Robert Rosenblum follows a lineage of artists from Caspar David Freidrich down through the Artistic family tree to Mark Rothko, he never really clearly states his thesis or the commonality that follows from each artist but he comes close to it when he describes the work of Vincent Van Gogh: "He, too, was an artist who thought of his painting not primarily as an aesthetic activity but as a means of communicating with those supernatural mysteries which lay concealed somewhere beneath the surfaces of the materialistic nineteenth-century world." I think this pretty much sums up what art is to me.

Otmoor #3

"What was the best advice given to you as an artist?"
I had a wonderful professor in undergrad (and luckily we're still friends) named David Feinberg. I took a lot of classes with him and one of the most important things he taught was what he referred to as, "taming the wild beast." It meant that you didn't just do art for art's sake. You had to pursue subjects you were interested in, things outside of art and incorporate them into your work, otherwise your work was just sort of "pretty" and not really meaningful for you.

"Tell me about your workspace?"
Right now I'm in the process of setting up my new studio in Anoka. I love telling my friends back in Boston that my studio is in "Lake Wobegon!" (Anoka is Garrison Keillor's home town). It's a much larger space than I've ever worked in, so it's going to give me the chance to work bigger and try some things I've always wanted to.

"Who are some of the Minnesota Artists you enjoy?"
Well besides Professor David Feinberg I mentioned earlier, I'm very lucky to know Christine Wilcox who is the head of the Art Department at Macalester.

I've worked with some other great students at the U of M including: Dan Young and Sarah Hiatt. I was lucky enough to work in a gallery with Robyn Beth Priestley and I'm a HUGE fan of Nick Harper's work.

Otmoor #4

"Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?"
Yes! Later this month (March 24 – April 15, 2011) I’ll be showing my thesis work from my MFA program at the Paul Whitney Larson Gallery, in the St. Paul Student Center, on the St. Paul Campus at the University of Minnesota. Opening night is 4/1/2011 from 7 to 9 pm.

Location: Larson Art Gallery
Address: 2017 Buford Ave. #25A
St. Paul, 55108 United States
Hours: 10AM-5PM M-F

From May 13- June 4, 2011, I’ll be having a solo exhibition at the Pine Cirty Art Center in Pine City, MN.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really love Brandon's work. I've been to a few of his shows and galleries and seeing him develop his talent and perfect the overall theme and message of his pieces is a very interesting and rewarding process to witness.