Kenise Barnes Fine Art is delighted to announce Kevin Paulsen’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Paulsen, an American artist born in Missouri, has a devoted international following and an extensive exhibition history. He has distinguished himself as an artist whose vision is paradoxically naïve looking yet deeply informed by art history and well established in the canon contemporary art.
Paulsen’s artwork is singular in the narrative it presents. He portrays civilization, half mythical, half historical, depicting nature and man in primordial and sometimes precarious harmony. The artist conjures a utopia in which man and beast frolic, harvest, dance, and work, in blissful co-existence. The viewer senses that the balance of the theatrical scene is momentary and could be upended by dark forces. Paulsen’s paintings and drawings are direct and earnest; we feel his urgency to capture the subject and record it before his fantastical vision dances away. The artist as shamanistic puppeteer is felt strongly in each narrative he creates.
Stylistically, Paulsen’s painting evokes vernacular style that recalls the tradition of Early American folk muralists and pays homage to man’s predilection for storytelling, illustration and decoration. Paulsen’s paintings appear to be made as a fresco, with uneven edges, (actually polystyrene topped with a thin veneer of pigmented plaster) floating within the frame. Cracks and fissures and areas of intentional distress are intrinsic to the surface and introduce a quality of unpredictability and allude to the passage of time.
Paulsen’s work has been showcased in the Fifth Avenue widows and in the galleries of Bergdorf Goodman, NYC, Chronogram Magazine, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, and Architectural Digest, to name a few. His murals can be seen in restaurants across the country and his work is in over 80 private collections in the US, England, France and Germany.