Stefan Kürten: perfect day
Apr 20 – May 25, 2002
Beginning April 20th, Alexander and Bonin presents the first New York exhibition of work by painter Stefan Kürten. Kürten will exhibit paintings from the past year, during which he lived both in New York and in Düsseldorf. This new work represents the latest development in a four-year examination of architectural and pastoral spaces that evoke a sense of both security and melancholy, of tranquility and unease.
Simultaneously generic and intimately familiar, these paintings depict everyday urban, suburban and rural scenes with a richness of detail and compositions that betray an intense level of attention. Kürten’s interest in archetypes and his search for ‘the ideal home’ guides his work towards a focus on the interplay between architectural structures and the natural environment that, even in the city, engulfs them. Striking a balance with the modern, man-made structures in so many of his paintings, Kürten’s unique palette—often beginning with a base coat of gold—and whirling brush strokes depict suburban gardens and patios with a sense of almost stifling beauty.
Of his exhibition Every day is like sunday, Lawrence Rinder wrote:
…It is the cosmos that is glimpsed between the cracks of everyday life: a golden reflection, invisible or blinding depending on your point of view, hides between the brushstokes that define these ornamental trees, these paving stones and roofing tiles, these summer gardens. Stefan is an idealist and a romantic, though, like all of us, the longer he lives the more he feels the weight of ordinary life, the weight of friends who die, the weight of loves who leave, the weight of homes that are home no more. These paintings shoulder such burdens, but not grudgingly. Grief, in them, is subsumed into something bright and ineffable. Maybe it is God, or maybe just the penetrating warmth of the midday sun.*
Stefan Kürten was born in Düsseldorf, and studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Art Institute of San Francisco. He has exhibited his work in Düsseldorf since 1988 at Galerie Ute Parduhn and Galerie Michael Cosar, and in San Francisco at the Rena Bransten Gallery and Todd Hosfelt Gallery.