Known for her sensitive and meticulously rendered paintings, Karen Kitchel challenges herself to express her concern for the environment by painting grasses in a variety of sizes. Her work in this exhibition ranges from small 12” x 12” paintings to large 62” x 21” paintings. Grass appears to be the subject of Kitchel’s work, but the real focus is concern for the changes taking place in the world around us and our relationship to it.
In her on-going work with grasses, Kitchel creates images of endangered species and commonly found weeds and invasives in the Rocky Mountain West. Kitchel brings attention to these complexities by capturing our interest with beautiful, exquisite compositions. A depth of field is produced by her technique of painting layer over layer in oil.
“The cropped, sharply focused images embody the seductive physicality of oil paint, but reject conventions of horizon line, panoramas, or grandiose scale,” Kitchel has said. The figurative scale of the three works in the vertical Terra Incognita series directly reflects the height and width of the artist, placing her in the center of the inquiry.
Guest curated by Ann Daley.
A native of Michigan, Karen Kitchel lived in Montana and Colorado while collecting grasses. She now paints in Ventura, California. Her work is in numerous permanent collections, including: the Denver Art Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, United States Department of State Embassies Program, the Joslyn Art Museum, and the Whitney Gallery at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. She received her BA from Kalamazoo College and MFA from Claremont Graduate University.
Ann Daley has been active in the Denver art community since 1977 when she was hired by the Denver Art Museum to be Curator of American Art. She was Associate Curator of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art from 1997 to 2008, and has been curator of the Captiva Resources collection since 1985. Daley was the first curator of the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale at the National Western Stock Show, and has remained on its board of advisors. She was a member of the Commission on Arts and Venues for six years. Daley is the author of Landscapes of Colorado, and various other publications. She received her BA in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and her MA in Art History from University of Denver.
Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support of this exhibit: Robin & Kevin Luff, Sue Schweppe, Nicky Wolman & David Fulker, Noel & Tom Congdon, City of Boulder, Boulder Arts Commission, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, Colorado Creative Industries, and National Endowment for the Arts.