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Ray Kass: Trays and Tondos – and Recent Works on Paper

Mar 6, 2009 - Jun 6, 2009

Ray Kass lives in New York City and Blacksburg, Virginia, where he is Professor Emeritus of Art at Virginia Tech. He is a nationally recognized painter and writer, and is founder and director of the Mountain Lake Workshop, a collaborative, community-based art project drawing on the customs, environmental resources, and technology of the New River Valley and the Appalachian region. His paintings have been widely exhibited and are represented by Zone: Chelsea Center for the Arts, NYC. Kass has received numerous grants and awards, including individual artists grants from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his paintings reside in many public and private collections.

The artist says, “Over a period of more than thirty five years, my out-of-doors water-media paintings of the natural world have developed in favorite locations in North Carolina, California, Maine, New Hampshire, and Virginia. Although abstract, my recent paintings are carefully derived from drawings and life-studies from nature, and attempt to represent the processes of nature at work rather than pictorial description.

“Although I feel that my painting directly responds to the environments that I work in, I usually do not paint from the landscape with the objective of achieving representational or ‘realistic’ images. In fact, I have often made representational depictions of specific places after I have made many non-pictorial works in the same locale. This particular development reverses the usual assumption that ‘abstraction’ develops from the confirmed experience of the study of ‘realism’ … My appreciation of the natural world is for the great variety of texture, light, form and eventful psychology that finds its maximum expression in its manifestations.”

Ray Kass, Tondo (BB). Water media on rag paper under beeswax mounted on primed panels. Image provided by the artist.

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Mar 6, 2009
Jun 6, 2009
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