Ryan Nord Kitchen
My paintings build on the work of my predecessors; Lois Dodd, Marsden Hartley, Paul Cézanne, to cite a few. Shuttling between abstraction and representation, my canvases’ inclination toward pure gesture is refuted by their reference to the natural world, both archetypal and impressionistic. Through the rhythmic play and integration of fragmentary linear and planar elements, I work toward cultivating a contemporary and unique vernacular. My practice resides somewhere between drawing and painting. Through the use of flattened volumes, shallow depth of field, and the tension created by heightened formal contrasts (figure and ground, surface and depth), I advocate for the continuation of modernism’s distrust of mimesis, while acknowledging abstraction’s need for realism as counterpoint. If seemingly improvised, each mark is indeed measured, informed by both my own experience of nature and my ongoing investigation of formal composition. Cumulatively, the works construct a lexicon of vistas, moonlit gardens, sunlit pathways, and river views that encourages a reverent, if idiosyncratic, reading of the American landscape.