Edmund Kuehn (b. 1916)

Contemporary American Painting

We have additional works by this artist in our inventory. Please inquire.
Click on a thumbnail below to see an enlarged view and detailed information:



The Great Lady
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The Elephant


Moroccan Motif



Schiller Park


Saturated Color


Dominant Red
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Quiet Cove


Folk Motif



Dreamscape


Sunlit Garden


Still Life with Goblet



The Village


Still Life with Pears


The Gladiators


Serenade

Edmund Kuehn was born in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from the Columbus Art School in 1938. He spent the following year at the Art Students League in New York studying with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Vaclav Vytlacil, and Hans Hofmann. He returned to Columbus to take a curatorial position at the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts (now the Columbus Museum of Art). At the time, he worked diligently to educate viewers about the outstanding Ferdinand Howald Collection of American Modernist art. Kuehn had a long and fruitful association with the museum, becoming Assistant Director in 1963. Between 1947 and 1962, Kuehn was also an Associate Professor of Drawing and Painting at the Columbus Art School (now Columbus College of Art and Design). He has traveled widely in Europe. His intimate and sophisticated work has continued to evolve, and demonstrates a keen interest in, and understanding of art history from Italian Early Renaissance pictorial design to multiple-perspective Cubist sculptural forms of the twentieth century.

Kuehn has stated that his search is "to find [in the] building blocks of design and color a cool analytic means to tame a given shape to an abundant flow of emotions and creative intent. . . . As a painter I am interested in both the seen and the unseen. To express the things of the visible world I use signs in the shape of simple silhouettes or complex forms divided by light or shade. For the expression of things unseen, those that evolve before the inner eye, I invent designs that create an equivalent syntax."

Kuehn has mastered many media, including oil, acrylic, gouache, collage, and watercolor. In these metaphorical works, he has explored a great range of symbolic possibilities which working in an abstract, or semi-abstract, manner allows an artist. Transcending specific details, his works are a sophisticated blend of diverse pictorial signs and painting motifs. Color is key to his works; it simultaneously creates spatial tension and evokes emotion. His energetic line simultaneously creates a sense of movement as well as form. Kuehn's visual poetry continues to be aesthetically challenging and emotionally resonant long after one's initial experience of it.
Recent Reviews:
"Seasonal Favorite: Still Lifes, Abstracts Old and New Pay Visit"
By Jacqueline Hall
For The Columbus Dispatch

The Keny Galleries have made a tradition of celebrating the holidays with the works of Edmund Kuehn, a favorite of Columbus collectors.

This year's exhibit, "Edmund Kuehn: Selected Works," brings together a delightful mixture of recent paintings and older works. The show is engaging and sunny, consisting largely of still lifes and dynamic abstract compositions.

Kuehn, a Columbus native, is one of the most dedicated and prominent artists in the city. Active for more than 60 years, he is 87 and still paints regularly.

Seven of the pieces in the show were executed in the past 12 to 14 months. Six are still lifes, the artist's favorite subject. The seventh, Cubistic Head, is rare in his repertoire. Done in ink and oil, the drawing of a man's head is superbly spontaneous and powerfully executed.

The bulk of the show, however, was pulled from the extensive collection of paintings Kuehn did in the past 30 years.

Of those, the gallery selected a remarkable group that illustrates the artist's various approaches.

The still lifes were picked for their fluid execution and exquisitely luminous palettes. Three are particularly arresting: Still Life With Acorn Squash (1981), a wonderful helter-skelter arrangement of flower, fruit and crockery in an ambiguous space; Roses (1987), a marvelous image executed in rich, gestural brush strokes that emphasize the sensuous quality of the creamy pink and red palette; and Yellow Pitcher (1976), which, despite the cubistic style of is execution, manages to exude dynamism and fluidity.

The luminosity of Kuehn's palettes, so remarkable in those three still lifes, is one of the delights of his paintings and is characteristic of his landscapes, as well.

The exhibition also includes three collages. Intrigued by the medium since early in his career, Kuehn created outstanding collages in the late 1970s and early '80s. In Composition, 1975, the artist achieves a dynamic image, rich in tension among the various shapes created by colorful strips of paper, which tease the eyes and the imagination.

Abstraction also has long intrigued Kuehn and has prompted him to create delightfully animated images. In Calligraphic Image No. 2, the artist creates a strongly rhythmic composition that keeps the eyes moving back and forth over the picture while sending them here and there into some elusive depth that endows the abstract arrangement with a vague feeling of landscape.

Kuehn shows the greatest originality in those collages and abstractions. Few painters, however, create the delectable palettes that he achieves in his still lifes and landscapes.
Selected Collections:
Battelle
Capital University Schumacher Gallery
Columbus Museum of Art
Honda Motor Company
Nationwide Insurance
Springfield Museum of Art



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