Monday, September 7, 2009

Philosophy Behind Kerns' Work

Maude Kerns trained under Hans Hoffman, a teacher four years younger than herself. Hoffman was interested in abstract art, everything he painted had to do with color relationships, structure and spacial illusion. Hoffman said "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." Kerns joined the dozens of wonderful female artists that took Hoffman as a teacher, including the likes of Louise Nevelson, Helen Frankenthaler and Lee Krasner.
Kerns adopted the art-as-spiritual expression philosophy from Hoffman, which she shared with one of my all time favorites Wassily Kandinsky-to these artists all art has a duty to be spiritual in nature. Hoffman's spacial realtionships, though not trees, rocks and streams but shapes of varying color echo those found in nature, like Pollack's ability to create fractal patterns.
This reminds me of my original draw to this piece, It was Lisa's idea that this abstract work mimics the bird at sea, the moon on the horizon and a big tree in the middle of it all.
Here is a Kerns piece similar to the one in Portland, another composition- this one is number 57. It is oil on Masonite, she painted it in 1947.
This Kerns is at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum at Utah State University.
I don't know what Lisa would see in this one, but today is her birthday- I hope today looks and feels a lot like this painting. Happy Birthday Darling!

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