Nothing like an adventure that requires this kind of pack job. Eventually 7 stand up paddle boards fit in and on this truck. Here’s a time lapse of the painting.
Saturday, August 12 at 2pm
2939 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon 97211
Join me for this artist talk! I’ll discuss my show, the process I use to create these paintings, and my exploration of the boundaries and markings that I focused on in this collection. Everything from the Mexico-US border to the lines of a hopscotch game inspired this collection of work.
Also, the annual Alberta Street Fair is the same day. There will be plenty to do!
Artists Shannon Weber Woven Forms & Assemblage and Chi Meredith will speak as well.
Thanks for the photo Cyndy Hamilton Hardy!
More info at www.michaelkurz.com
Save the date in your busy Summer to come see my Last Thursday show on Alberta Street.
6-9pm, July 27th at Guardino Gallery
2939 NE Alberta St, Portland OR 97211
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Twenty years ago Donna Guardino (pictured below) helped pioneer the first Last Thursday on Alberta—an art event she has helped keep alive year-round ever since. It’s an honor to show with her this July-Aug.
About the show: In this collection of all new work, Borders, Michael Kurz investigates boundaries and markings that divide one space from another. “Within this theme, I am interested in exploring when one thing becomes something else, for example how a line on the ground can determine where we can and cannot park and then another line on the ground determines our citizenship.” Kurz explains that his interest in this theme started as a reaction to the border wall proposal in US presidential politics, but he expanded the concept during a flight from Mexico to the US. “I got an aerial view of the land below and I saw this patchwork of farms, residential areas, commercial areas and then I also saw how oceans, rivers, and mountain ranges cut through all of these distinct lines that humans make. It made me want to scrutinize what a border is.” Kurz explores borders of different types from large scale, physical barriers to lines that compartmentalize elements of our daily life. He applies his painterly sense of exploration and improvisation to the work, meandering between abstract and representational painting. A sense of wonder and discovery drive the artist to experiment continuously. “I hope that this work is engaging and multifaceted. This is a new approach for me as an artist to add some provocation to the aesthetic beauty I like to achieve in painting.”
My filmmaker friend, Seth Douglas, featured me and my art in a short documentary about people who follow their passion every day for work. I’m joined on screen by a choir director, comics writer, and drummer/photographer—pretty cool, huh? We filmed a year or two ago and seeing it again has got me thinking. Although it has taken a lot of persistence and patience for me to get where I’m at now, this documentary and my cameo reminds me that my day job is in fact my dream job. When the going gets tough, I often forget that. So it’s nice to get that reminder.
I have been busy working on a new show for this summer. I hope you can join me at the opening reception on Wednesday, June 8th. Save the date and pass on the word. I can’t wait to see you there!
Wednesday, June 8th, 2017 / 5:00-8pm
Eastbank Commerce Center
1001 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR
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Latex Paint, Mixed Media, Panel
29.5 x 21.5 inches
Latex Paint, Mixed Media, Cloth
82.5 x 37.875 inches
Visit Cup & Bar at 118 NE MLK, Portland OR 97232
I love working on these commissions. Here’s some work-in-progress photos. I’m excited to see what it will end up like and how it’ll look in the custom frame I’m building for it.
A few weeks ago, I got to meet and check out the process of Colorado and NY artist Christian Rex Van Minnen—a painter who has adopted the classic portrait and still life techniques of Dutch Masters from the Golden Era. As you can tell, he makes some surrealist adjustments to the Dutch tradition.
The process of building up layer upon layer of transparent paint takes time and patience, but the result is really spectacular. Skin looks alive, objects have texture and depth. I’m excited to see where this goes for my own work.
Here’s my own work-in-progress. I didn’t have time to finish it in Colorado, but am returning to it in Portland some time this week.
Meeting Van Minnen was part of a week workshop at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, CO. I was incredibly fortunate to return there this summer.
This year, I finished two large painting commissions: the Hardy Commission this Fall and the Hall Commission this month. These projects were exciting and the commissioners and I are happy about how they turned out. To start your own commission with me, read more information here. These works are an extension of my art and your taste. We work together to make a painting you will enjoy in your life.
Nephew at 6 mos.
I’ve been working on two exciting painting commissions. It’s been great to collaborate with these commissioners: first meeting to figure out what they love about paintings and continuously throughout the process until I make work that they’re proud to have in their homes. I’ll post the final products once they’re done, but for now, here is one of the works in progress.
If you’re interested in commissioning a work, find more info here.
My current solo art show, Time Will Speak. And Speak. And Speak. And Speak., has been extended through December 19th. If you didn’t get a chance to come to the opening last month, you can still view my paintings and drawings in person weekdays 9-5pm at City Club of Portland and Cafe Voila 901 SW Washington St., Portland, OR 97205.
View my work online at www.michaelkurz.com.
Thanks to those of you who have visited my show. The opening night was a great success and I appreciate the support.
Time Will Speak. And Speak. And Speak. And Speak.
First Thursday, September 4th
Save the date for my art opening hosted by two neighboring spaces in downtown Portland: City Club and Cafe Viola. Come stop by to see new paintings and drawings and enjoy tasty snacks and beverages from the cafe.
Mark the date in your calendar:
Midway through the summer and the season keeps buzzing with activity.
This summer I got to spend three weeks (across two trips) in a small ski town near Aspen. There, at 8,200 feet of elevation and surrounded by a dramatic, lush valley of snow-melt-fed grass, cotton woods, and aspen trees, I took workshops at the renown Anderson Ranch Art Center. Faculty, students, and staff hail from all over the world to retreat at this beautiful place to focus nearly 24/7 on art making.
Of the millions of incredible things about the Ranch, the people stand out by far. I learned from some world class faculty: Brooklyn painter David Hornung—a master of color and composition, Craig Drennen—a brilliantly provocative painter, and for the price of one, Ryan Burghard and Ben Buswell—captivating artists from Portland. I met furniture and wood artist Andy Buck and his beautiful family (they used to live in Portland), furniture designer Wendell Castle, photographer Amy Arbus (yes, Diane’s daughter), inspiring kite artists Melanie Walker and George Peters, incredibly talented and thought provoking artist Jenene Nagy (also used to live in Portland!), sculpture and video artist Heidi Schwegler, super gracious Executive Director Nancy Wilhelms, and many more brilliant and creative staff, interns, and students.
These people are great. Some of them even mud wrestle.
Even though the Anderson Ranch has dominated a bit of my summer so far, I have three commissions in the works, and I’m planning a First Thursday show for September. Stay tuned.
Baja, Mexico is beautiful and I couldn’t help but paint down there. Baja Reef and Baja Surge.