Artist’s Reception: Saturday April 6th, 6-9 PM
Callan Contemporary Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo
exhibition of New York based artist James Kennedy with an opening
reception on April 6th, 2013.
Like the fabled “music of the spheres” that enchanted medieval philosophers,
the sublime geometries of James Kennedy’s systems embody a perfected sense
of balance, order, and harmony. Working with mixed media on eucalyptis-wood
Masonite, Kennedy applies layer upon layer of thinned-out acrylic paint, building
up the washes to impart a texturally sensual, chromatically nuanced surface.
Then, using blades and other tools, he incises lines into the paint and, more deeply, the panels themselves. The deeper lines cast subtle shadows, adding to
the surfaces’ topographical character. Pinpoint dots, another visual trademark,
lend further texturality and heighten the series’ architectonic feel.
Born in Northern Ireland and educated in painting at the Royal Scottish
Academy in Edinburgh, Kennedy now lives in Manhattan. His work has been
exhibited widely, featured in major art fairs, and acquired into prestigious
collections around the world. His paintings at Callan Contemporary are part of
an ongoing series called SPATIAL, in which mathematical and musical elements
come together in invigorating equipoise. Highly sophisticated and meticulous in
technique, the works flow from a decidedly improvisational approach. “For all of
their organized scheme, there’s actually no pre-planning,” the artist relates.
“They aren’t complete until there is a balance to the spatial resolution of the
painting, where every line and gesture is somehow in harmony, and the piece is
held together no matter how complex it is.”
The exhibition’s title derives from the “systems” Kennedy creates to resolve
compositional relationships. Notably, the lines, shapes, and proportions that
make his paintings so visually gratifying, serve a purpose that is both formal and
expressive. He views each element, in a sense, as an individual or character in
an overarching narrative, which he calls “the journey of the line.” It is a narrative
that unfolds not in words, but in the reductivist language of abstraction. Elegant,
intricate, and conceptually rich, Kennedy’s works invite viewers into a
contemplative inner space, in which serene forms engage one another in
spirited, dynamic interchange.