stefan kürten’s studio

is an enormous space with floor-to-ceiling windows in an industrial part of town.

a wall of the small ink on paper paintings that stefan has recently been working on, and one of them up close.

this large painting of wilderness closing in on a domestic garden will be in his upcoming solo show at the prestigious galerie ute parduhn ( in düsseldorf…

and this painting (unfinished in these photos), will be in my booth at the PULSE art fair in new york the first week of march…

seeing this painting approximately 80% completed was really interesting for me because it offers so much insight into his process.  stefan frequently begins with a pigmented ground —  in this case red, but it’s often metallic gold — upon which he “draws” an image with black oil paint.   he then adds thin layers of color, one color at a time, until the image feels like an old photograph that’s been hand-tinted — an approximation of reality that’s not quite right

for comparison, i’ll post a photo of this painting in a couple of weeks when it’s completed.

i almost always learn a lot being in an artist’s  studio.   i’ve been working with stefan since 1998 and have known his work since 1993.    he paints images from photographs he finds or takes himself.    he rarely paints scenes as they exist, but takes different things from different sources and collages them together into a coherent image.    but knowing those things is different from seeing the thousands of black and white images he collects, classifies and appropriates into his paintings.

and then there was being with him when he bought a fistful of the little-bitty paint brushes he uses — “i wear them out in a day or two…”