Greg Kessler

Like the Abstract Expressionists, I engage with the history of figurative and abstract art and constantly push the limits of figuration. I explore overlapping images in airbrush or stencil, with gestural effects laid on top of a drawing or a cartoon image. I attempt to separate the image from the process to create a more complex and visually exciting body of work as well as a personal mythos. The struggle is to find meaning in the imagery and to determine how that meaning impacts the viewer.

Women are my primary subjects—be they androgynous, iconic or mythological goddesses, cartoon-like characters, or abstracted forms. Exaggerated mannerisms, hand gestures, and different points of view are part of my abstracted figuration. I use gestural, painterly expressionism in a non-ironic way.

My unique drawing style, combined with cartoonish abstract figuration, is a contribution to contemporary figuration. There is an authenticity to my struggle to dig deep to arrive at the final painting—in other words, the journey is important, not the preconceived image.

Color, as emotive content, is an important aspect of my work. I like to explore the tactile and physical nature of the possibilities of paint and at times use unconventional methods to arrive at the final image.

CLOSE

Education

1988‑1990
Yale University School of Art, majored in painting, MFA awarded in May 1990. Graduated with the Old Holland Classic Oil Color Prize.

1984‑1988
Carnegie‑Mellon University College of Fine Arts, obtained BFA degree in 1988. Given the 1986 Douglas H. Wilson Award for excellence in painting and drawing by the faculty of the Carnegie-Mellon University College of Fine Arts.

1987

Yale University Ellen Bartell Stoekel Program in Art, Norfolk, CT, recipient of full fellowship.

1983

Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC

Select Exhibitions

2017 
Group Show, White Porch Gallery, Miami, Florida

2016

Virtual Reality Art, n:Digital Series, Nielsen, NY

2015

Artist in Residence, Halka Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey 

Group Drawing Show, Mayson Gallery, New York

 

2014

Second Story Art Gallery, Highland, New Jersey

 

2013

Group Show, Inside Out Museum, Beijing, China

 

2012

Group Show, Brooklyn Fire Proof East, Bushwick, New York

2011

Curated Group Show, Westbeth Gallery, New York

 

2010

Group Show, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

 

2009

One Person Show, Westbeth Gallery, New York

Group Show, Gallery Korea, New York

 

2008

Curated Group Show, Creative Pier Gallery, New York

Drawing Show, 126 Rivington, New York

 

2007

Three Person Show, Le Roy Nieman Center, Columbia University

 

2006

One Person Show, Glorious Food Loft, New York

 

2005

One Person Show, Adair Margo Gallery, El Paso, TX

 

2004

One Person Show, RoGallery, Long Island City, New York

 

2002

One Person Show, WAX Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Artist In Residence, Open Real Fundamental, St. Lorenzen‑bei   Scheifling, Austria

 

1999

Group Painting Show, American University, Washington, DC

 

1998

One Person Show, George Billis Gallery, New York

 

1997

“Body of Artifice” One Person Show, George Billis Gallery, New York

Group Show, Four Walls, Brooklyn, NY

 

1996

Group Painting Show, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY

 

1995

Group Show, Basilico Fine Arts, New York


Select Collections

Kate Spade, New York

MTV corporate headquarters, New York

Belsito and Company, New York

Jean‑Claude Nédélec, co‑owner, Glorious Food, New York          
Sean Driscoll, co‑owner, Glorious Food, New York                      


Teaching

Greg Kessler has been a Teaching Artist at Vermont College of Fine Arts and an Adjunct Professor of Printmaking at Columbia University. He has also taught at the City University of New York and has been a visiting lecturer at New York Academy of Art, New York University, Massachusetts College of Art, and Concordia University in Montréal.

Greg Kessler Paintings
Olympia
Olympia
Avalon
Avalon
The Prophet
The Prophet
Presence
Presence
Godhead 2
Godhead 2
Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl
For DVK
For DVK
TVC15
TVC15
Lynchpin
Lynchpin
Untitled drawing
Untitled drawing
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