hidell brooks is thrilled to be exhibiting david kroll new painitings for our fall opening exhibition. we have been in awe of david's paintings since viewing them for the first time in the late 90's at art chicago. at the time david was teaching at the art institute of chicago after receiving his mfa in painting and drawing from there in 1986. it was love at first sight. we are still in awe many years later and value our friendship as we do with all our artists. a new monograph on his paintings came out late last year and is a tribute to his incredible body of work.
i paint personal refuges in the form of still lives and imagined landscapes - places to visit for solace, meditation and sanctuary. i work intuitively to create a connection between the viewer and the power of place, the web of life, the idea of nature itself.
my approach to still life allows me to work with a number of themes that have long interested me, and draw me in again and again. thematically i am interested in the interaction between man – and manmade objects – and nature. in a painted still life these ideas collapse on each other - and raise many questions. which is more beautiful – a rural landscape or a chinese vase? which is more alive, which is more still? is the rendering of an egret or a mountainside on porcelain more or less profound than treatment of the same subject on canvas? is a nest a bowl? is a vase a broken egg? and isn’t all of nature anthropomorphized in the sense that, inescapably, man sees nature through man’s eyes?
i repeatedly place songbirds, koi, and reptiles in my compositions – delicate and fragile, yet purposeful and assured. a bird rests on a rookwood vase. koi swim powerfully in mid-air, above a blue and white ceramic bowl. an egret hesitates before striking a stoneware fish. Do these animals care as much as we do about the difference between human objects and the natural world? and what does any of this have to say about what nature is, or the beauty of nature itself?
compositionally the still life allows me to explore contrast – the contrast between foreground and background, between light and dark, between circle and square, between motion and stillness. it also allows me to work liberally with color – the color of natural elements contrasted with manufactured objects.
for these reasons and more i have found the still life form, often incorporating landscape elements, to be a tremendously rich means of expressing my sense of the beautiful and for exploring contemporary topics and concerns that perplex, compel and fascinate me.
-david kroll 2016
david kroll 's new monograph released late last year was published by marquand books of seattle, wa. the 112 page book features essays by james yood and linda tesner. the monumental book includes 72 color plates celebrating the life and work of david kroll. executed with the technical expertise of a dutch master, the paintings of seattle-based artist david kroll (born 1956) combine the realism of nature morte with the lively presence of brightly colored birds, insects and fish to create surreal, entrancing interior landscapes. this volume surveys his work to date.
the solo exhibition for david kroll opens this friday, september 9th from 6-8 pm. david kroll will be at the opening. all available paintings by david kroll are on our website under his artist's tab. there is also a group exhibition by selected gallery artists in the third gallery. included in the show are new works by anke schofield, scott upton, sally king benedict, selena beaudry, mary nelson sinclair, johan hagaman, geraldine neuwirth and page davis. please call the gallery if you have any further questions.