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Chris Kienke

Artist Statement: 2012


I have three kids and I try to spend time with them every day. Whenever we watch a movie their little fingerprints always mess up the dvd causing the image to fracture and while staring at a particularly mangled image of a Looney Toons cartoon it clicked for me, this is what has been missing.


I love it, this glitch in the system, it’s sort of like seeing the wizard behind the curtain.

These gorgeous compositions mechanically merging representation and abstraction, I see it every day, every time I use my smart phone, or log onto Facebook, or try to watch a You Tube video. I am now very interested in mixing the languages of the printed image with the painted brush stroke and the drawn line.  Using tele-visual images allows me to comment on a wide range of topics and this “glitch” aesthetic has opened the door to a post modern abstraction for me. Though I did not intentionally seek it out, my work with the War Room in 2003-2008 and the more traditional paintings I was making have now merged. 


My current explorations and concerns in the studio revolve around a hybrid practice of painting and digital imagery. This Exit Six series of work is partly an examination of televised sexuality. They quote more than one genre of painting. The work revels in the landscape of the road, it hints at sneaking out. The use of the fixed tele-visual image(s) allows for a pause and a longer look at the image. Letting the work incubate in the mind of the viewer. This pause also isolates the work from its original edited sequence, allowing the viewer to form a much more personalized and subjective reading of the work. I am interested in multiple panels or modular units that become the physical parallel to the digital pixel. I am interested in creating images that make it difficult to decipher the archeology between the painted layers and the printed image.


I am interested in using the pixel as an expression of media, it is the rudiments of the tele-visual display and as a form of language, it is the mechanical language of the monitor and lens. 


In the development of each body of work it is essential for me to continue exploring new concepts, forms and methodologies. As new ideas enter into the process they are developed through the acts of material exploration, application, reflection and gestation. The content of each piece is linked to the medium it is completed in and each medium is selected to suit the particular ideas of each project. Choices about media and material matter not solely because a particular medium may be best suited for communicating an idea or presenting a point of view but because media and material are bound together with language and meaning. 


Bio: 2012


Chris Kienke received his MFA from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale in 2000 and received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1994. Kienke’s studio work is diverse, ranging from paintings and drawings to videos to installations. Chris’ most recent exhibition was at the 8th Florence Biennale in December 2011 and he had his solo debut in New York City at the Bowery Gallery, June 21- July 9, 2011. He has been in over 50 exhibitions to date. His approach is that of an inquisitive mind observing, evaluating, experimenting and exploring moments and events. He has had work published in Studio Visit magazine in 2010 and New American Paintings in September 2009 . Kienke has been a fellow at the Vermont Studio Center in 2003 and 2007.  His work is in permanent collections such as ABN Amro Bank in Dubai, Savannah College of Art and Design and the Hospitalfield Trust in Scotland. Chris lives and works in Savannah, GA.


If you are interested in seeing this work close up Chris has posted detail shots of the work on his website to accompany this exhibition.  It is his hope that these details will further inform the viewer about the paint surface and the presence the actual painting/objects have.

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