KRISTOPHER WRIGHT: JUST AS I AM
Kristopher Wright’s large-scale artworks intertwine the disciplines of painting and printmaking. Just As I Am features the artist’s latest body of work, filled with color and complexity. Wright is influenced by American iconography, machine diagrams, and personal narratives to create works that explore themes of joy, community, and healing. While his creative process begins with a found photograph, Wright quickly departs from the language of photography as he investigates how an image can shapeshift, changing form as it evolves through hybrid disciplines.
Just As I Am features 16 new, large-scale works that capture moments within places of sanctuary— communal backyard barbeques, sitting around the kitchen table, or time together in the living room after a satisfying meal. Wright refers to these moments as ”social engines,” a nod to the hand-drawn diagrams he overlays in his work to reference the constant personal repair and maintenance needed to grow and better oneself throughout life. The moments of gathering are symbolic of liturgical spaces in that they prompt feelings of gratitude, togetherness, and inclusivity.
The power in Wright’s work comes from his ability to translate these anonymous, humble snapshots into compositions that connect and resonate with the viewer in ways that feel deeply personal, and even sacred. Wright’s work meets the viewer with a raw sense of familiarity and comfort despite the ambiguity of who his subjects are. Identifying the subjects becomes less important than experiencing the feelings of security and joy nurtured within the works.
Re-Imagine Historical Narratives
Suchitra Mattai, a multi-disciplinary artist of Indo-Caribbean descent, uses a mixed-media approach to explore how memory and myth allow us to unravel and re-imagine historical narratives.
Her primary pursuit is to give voice to people whose voices were once quieted. Using both her own family’s ocean migrations and research on the period of colonial indentured labor during the 19th Century, Suchitra seeks to expand our sense of “history.” Re-writing this colonial history contributes to contemporary dialogue by making visible the struggles and perseverance of those who lived it. She often focuses on the experiences of women and employs practices and materials associated with the domestic sphere such as embroidery, weaving, vintage saris and other fiber elements. Suchitra re-imagines found materials that have a rich past as a way of creating a dialogue with the original makers and the time periods in which they were once cherished as well as a means of navigating her own personal narrative. Thinking about colonization in Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean is a way of tracing her family’s history in Guyana and India and of fostering discussion around contemporary issues surrounding gender and labor.
Andrew Jensdotter - Artist as Explorer
Andrew Jensdotter’s paintings and drawings depict the visual static of collective imagery. Mining the glossy pages of magazines and online search queries, the artist transforms sets of related photographic content into physical layers of representational paintings on a single surface. This transfer from dematerialized imagery into physical layers of stacked paint serves as a means to a larger end. Upon building up numerous rendered layers onto a single canvas, the artist eviscerates the thick surface revealing a highly energetic composite made from a chosen subject matter’s accumulated color palette. Where once the eye had a specific subject to focus on, what remains is an all-over composition devoid of any focal point, forcing the eye to either race across its surface or relax into a psychedelic trance. The relationship between additive and subtractive processes, and the disintegration of the specific into the abstract presents a visual analog for the nature of processing information in the age of mass media.
Jonathan Saiz #WhatIsUtopia and Colorado Costal
Artist Jonathan Saiz and Denver Art Museum Curator Becky Heart discuss His concurrent exhibitions , “Colorado Coastal” at K Contemporary and #WhatIsUtopia at the Denver Art Museum
The often-apocalyptic themes in Jonathan Saiz’s work reflect the duality of the artist’s fascination with optimistic irreverence and a foreshadowing of darker things to come. Man-made climate-change, supernatural unknowns and all the social and spiritual upheaval that accompanies them.
His varied subject matter, explored like an intuitive stream-of-consciousness with scores of miniature paintings, drawings and sculptures, add up to glossy, candy-coated visual narratives imbued with existential dread.
“Saiz makes our terrors tangible in his artwork. By acknowledging fears in the periphery of our daily lives or the dark corners of our minds, the mechanisms of control — whether god or government — are disrupted. The gaze is powerful.” - 2016 @hyperallergic.com
Daisy Patton - This is Not Goodbye / A Rewilded Arcadia
Artist Daisy Patton and CU Art Museum Director Sandra Firmin offer exclusive insight about Daisy's work and her upcoming exhibitions at the University of Colorado Boulder and at K Contemporary.
Patton’s practice is focused on history, memory, and social commentary stemming from this youth, soaked in such specific cultural landscapes. Her work explores the meaning and social conventions of families, little discussed or hidden histories, and what it is to be a person living in our contemporary world. One such series is Forgetting is so long, reviewed in Hyperallergic and The Denver Post, as well as featured in Create! Magazine, The Jealous Curator, Vasari21, Fraction Magazine, Full Blede, and Backroom Caracas.
Kevin Sloan - A Wanderer's Garden
Artist Kevin Sloan discusses the concepts behind his Solo exhibition "A Wanderer's Garden" at K Contemporary. His work is ongoing inquiry into whether a painting can hold the qualities of wonder and awe amid the mundane and overlooked. This duality is reflective of our contemporary condition, one marked by dislocation and loss in the midst of the overwhelming and spectacular.
Additionally, he is interested in what it means to be a painter of the natural world in a time of such extraordinary change environmentally, politically and socially. Remaining aware of all happening around while avoiding topical reportage and editorializing, he assumes the role of a compassionate witness. Sloan’s hope is that compassion allows for empathy, which pushes away cynicism, which in turn allows curiosity and wonder to find a place in the work.
Sarah Winkler / Moment
“We need the experience of being romantically and poetically lost in the wilderness, and being found again” -Sarah Winkler
MOMENT was Directed and edited by Jesse Brass
Cinematography by Jesse Brass & Tim Brass
Music courtesy of Kai Engel, Lee Rosevere and Pictures of a Floating World
MAKING ART FILMS
Thank you Tom Vasselli, Diane McGregor, Nina Tichava, Rachel Doniger, Jennifer Perlow, Alex Wade
and special thanks to Sarah Winkler, K Contemporary and Gallery MAR for making this film possible.