Kurt Herrmann: Water Water Everywhere

Opening: Friday, May 26, 2023 7 – 10 pm
Friday, May 26 – Jul 22, 2023

2019 N. Damen
Chicago, IL 60647

The artist will be present at the opening on Friday, May 26

"I’ve been making watercolors since I first traveled to Siberia as a student in 1994. That trip changed my life and sent me home with my first serious body of work. I’m drawn to the fragility and spontaneity of the medium. Time is crushed into the present and if I don’t follow suite the painting can be lost spectacularly quick. I prefer to work outside to feed off the landscape without trying to be overly representational. I let the atmosphere permeate the work while I try to stay out of the way. Whether traveling abroad or working in the mountains of Appalachia where I live, painting outside is the only time I will sit still and deeply observe nature. By picking up a brush and trying to make sense of my environment my senses are instantly heightened. One of my favorite aspects of working outside is that there is zero time to think and only time to react. It’s a cliché but when working this way, I feel more like a vessel for the paint to flow through rather than the source. In my practice I work on large scale oils, acrylics, sculpture, and assemblage, but nothing is as personal and intimate as my watercolors. It’s a treat for me to show them at Firecat Projects where they have the stage as the lead role and not a supporting actor."

Kurt Herrmann ( b. 1972, Lock Haven, USA ) is a painter from the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania who does both figurative and abstract work, but above all is a colourist at heart. Two of his recent shows were featured in Time Out Chicago and the Philadelphia Inquirer, with recent shows in Tasmania ( Penny Contemporary ) , New Orleans (Octavia Gallery), Auckland (12 Gallery), Philadelphia ( James Oliver Gallery), and Charlotte ( Sozo Gallery). His work is in prominent collections across the US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, including Capitol One Corporate Headquarters (Wilmington, DE), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, NY), and Temple University (Philadelphia, PA). Recent commissions include large work for Hotel Del Coronado (San Diego, CA), and a line of beer labels for Elk Creek Café + Aleworks (Millheim, PA). Although his exhibition schedule is increasingly international, Herrmann’s rural Pennsylvania roots continue to influence his work. “I’m very aware of the fact that even if a painting was initially inspired by something exotic, or an extremely personal event on the other side of the planet, all my work is filtered through my studio in the hills of Appalachia,” he explains. “The colours, silence, space, seasons, landscape, even the rednecks impact everything I make. It’s inescapable.”