Contemporary Nebraska: Selections from Kiechel Fine ArtJune 24, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Contemporary Nebraska: Selections from Kiechel Fine Art is currently on display at the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Kiechel Fine Art, established in 1986 in Lincoln, Nebraska, specializes in 19th and 20th century American Art, Old Master and Contemporary prints, as well as regional and national contemporary art. Kiechel exhibits the top Midwestern contemporary artists, and this exhibition highlights the work of 15 Nebraska artists. The artists featured in this exhibition include Wendy Jane Bantam, Anne Burton, Michael Burton, Eddie Dominguez, Kira Nam Greene, Anthony Benton Gude, Hal Holoun, Aaron Holz, Dan Howard, Jenny Kruger, Karen Kunc, Chad M. Olsen, Ernest Ochsner, Francisco Souto, and Kaiser Suidan. The collection includes paintings, woodcut prints, drawings, ceramics, and mixed media collage, showing the diversity of Nebraska artists.
Many of these artists are inspired by nature, specifically the Nebraska landscape. The landscape may be real, as in the work of Hal Holoun and Ernest Ochsner, or imagined from a memory, like Chad M. Olson’s intimate paintings. Others, like Wendy Jane Bantam and Eddie Dominguez, are more expressive in their representations, using rich textures to imbue their settings with emotion. Michael Burton and Jenny Kruger place hyper-realistic rural images in flat, abstract backgrounds, and Aaron Holz and Dan Howard also challenge perceptions of depth and space with their multi-layered constructions. As the grandson of Regionalist master Thomas Hart Benton, Anthony Benton Gude innately denotes his legacy and iconic style in his depictions of the Midwest.
Both Anne Burton and Karen Kunc work in woodcut and combine shapes and colors that suggest, rather than identify their subjects with Kunc drawing inspiration from nature and Burton piecing together vignettes from her family’s life. Through Francisco Souto’s meticulous details in graphite, he depicts humanity to evoke empathy; while Kira Nam Greene uses wit to create still lifes about identity. Kaiser Suidan also takes a playful approach to his art, exploring variations of color and pattern through the confines of the cube.
The selected works range from representational to abstract, realistic to surreal, structured to expressive. Yet these artists are connected by their focus on color and remarkable technique. As a group, the vibrant colors and alluring compositions offer an escape to the viewer and a moment of calm.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Healing Arts Program would like to thank Kiechel Art Gallery for the loan of these artworks and assistance in organizing the exhibition.