Artist Profile: Guy Kuhn

Art and the City - July 2019

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Walk, pencil on paper

“You are about to enter into another dimension—a dimension not only of sight and sound, but mind—a journey into a wondrous land of imagination.”

Those of us who are of a certain age recognize those words. That was the introduction, not only to a flight of fancy, but an excursion into the cosmos of expanding ideas: a “Twilight Zone,” where the unexpected was expected and where you could fly beyond the ordinary and leave the mundane far behind. And smile. Always a smile.

The drawings of Guy Kuhn are the windows to that dimension. You are drawn to geometric swirling and the curious juxtaposition of globes—from tiny beads to pearls to moons. And boxes and frames. And texture. Always texture. You keep getting closer and closer to examine the minute details until you find yourself inside, floating in a bath of sparkling light or climbing a shadowy staircase to a mystery. You may want to stay awhile and explore the expanding ideas.

Guy starts with a mark on the paper, and takes off from there. There is no preconceived theme. Everything is by hand—no compasses or rulers—there are imperfections—the more you look, the more you see. What appears rigid is not. What appears mechanical is emotional. It grows and flows. It’s the geometry of nature.

Guy grew up in the country—nature has always been a part of his thinking—and his art. He has a BS in Biology from Shepard University and studied art at Towson, and the Maryland Institute, College of Art. His business, Guy T. Kuhn Fine Art Papers, supplied artists nationwide for over 30 years.

You can see his work this month in a group show: Maryland Federation of Art at Gallery B in Bethesda. He has a solo show coming up in September…details in my September column.

www.kuhnwerks.com.

Sparkling, pencil on paper

Jim Magner’s Thoughts On Art
Guy Kuhn (see, Artist Profile) wrote that his passion is creating “harmonious illusions that present an apparent natural reality.” That in the broad sense is the definition of art. Or is it? Maybe we are the illusion and art is the natural reality that created us. Everywhere you look in nature you see beauty. Or should. But, maybe that’s just our delusion—simply a neo-cortex happening—just electro-manifestations that occur in splendid isolation inside our skulls—ever changing and rearranging colors and images.

The captured images that invaded the minds of our ancient ancestors were visions so powerful, so ever-expanding, that they needed a bigger boat—a larger cranium to allow even more expansion of the illusions of natural reality.

I find that the captured images, revised and stored curiously in my mind, invent reproductions that are far from perfect. It is these imperfections that allow revisions—what we so easily call creativity. And beauty? “Beauty” is an expression of thought requiring a language so full of imperfections that it titillates neurons into a frenzy of combinations—a disordered, explosive ignition of emotion.

I worry about the expanding use of mechanized or computerized art production. Are we being suckered into AI? Converted to machine intelligence? What kind of art will be made through AI? Artificial art? Perfect art? Maybe it will be the execution of illusion.

In the end, it is the chaotic but harmonious collisions of imperfections that make art. Guy Kuhn lets them collide on the paper: the mistakes he doesn’t erase. They celebrate the joy of illusion—the growing and flowing of emotions—the symphonic sensations that have created and sustained us.

 

At the Galleries

Maryland Federation of Art
Gallery B
7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E
Bethesda, MD
July 3 – 27
Reception: July 12, 6-8
Guy Kuhn (see, Artist Profile) joins 35 artists in a group show sponsored by MFA.

 

Grassland Sti ll Life, oil on canvas by CinCin Fang

Solo Exhibitions

Hill Center Galleries
921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
June 26 – Sept. 8
Reception: Wed., June 26, 6:30 – 8:30

  • Photographer Karen Cohen, in “A She Thing” presents a “collection of women centric images and ideas and words.”
  • Painter CinCin Fang presents a series of traditional still lifes, each of which is “a piece of me that I hope will resonate with you.”
  • Printmaker M. Alexander Gray creates highly detailed woodcuts and engravings. “My work is inspired by the past – my own past, that of my region, and that of printmaking itself as an artistic medium.”
  • Wanjin Kim: With “Blooming,” the mixed media artist brings awareness to global warming by using natural resources, like coral, in her artwork.
  • Painter Janie McGee, with “Black-Eyed Suzies and Grace,” has created “volumes of art over the last 46 years that depicts the struggles, pains, joys, and faith engraved in the black experience. It is a journey that will take a lifetime…”
  • Painter Dilip Sheth, with “Come Into My World,” uses “bold colors” so the world he sees “becomes my world on canvas.”

HillCenterDC.org

 

Joseph Shetler
Foundry Gallery
2118 – 8th St., NW
July 3 – 28
Reception:  Sat.  July 13, 5 – 8
Joseph Shetler approaches post-minimalism as a practice of simplicity, in art and in life.  Raised in a Mennonite family, his work in this juried guest show reflects a sense of consistency and order—following simple patterns and progressions.
www.josephshelter.com    www.foundrygallery.org

 

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Notice: CALL FOR ENTRY: 2020 Gallery Artist Residency
The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) is currently seeking applicants for its 2020 Gallery Artist Residency, a five-week paid residency, January 6 through February 10, 2020 in CHAW’s Gallery at 545 7th Street, SE, Washington, DC, 20003.

“The residency provides an opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Completed applications are due August 31, 2019 at www.chaw.org/artist-residency.