Ted Kurland – Contemporary Houston Artist

The recent works from Ted Kurland are a good example of why painting is unlike any other medium.
 
Mr. Kuralnds’s pictorial compositions not only provide vivid and mysterious abstract shapes but continually allow a viewer to discover a multitude of subtle patterns and ambiguous imagery that are unexpectedly provided as ingredients of the overall atmosphere.
 
The artist states that “a painting is a living entity…it is a story that continues to provide a  visual experience to any viewer who spends time with the work”.
 
These compositions maintain layers of lush and colorful acrylic paint slabs that are used as compositional elements that harmonize very subtle but complex background treatments.
 
The paintings are predominately smaller in size (18″ x 24″, 20″ x 30″) but very large in terms of their visceral quality and multiple layers of visual nuance and subtlety. Working at a fevered rate, we expect to see more of these profound compositions from Mr. Kurlands Houston Studio.
 
  • Untitled, 2023 20" x 16" acrylic on canvas

Artist Statement:

Basically, my process is all about play. Every day I walk into my studio, I’m filled with excitement and the expectation something new and fascinating will happen; and I am rarely disappointed. Though unpredictable randomness is part of my process, I can nudge the randomness in my direction or to fit nicely into an overriding theme. I do go each day with a plan and an expectation of what I want to do and accomplish. However, having said that, I still never know what could happen because yesterday’s ideas may no longer apply, as nothing is constant with me; and with a fresh look at my paintings, they morph into something quite different and sometimes, if I’m lucky, more fascinating.
 
I generally spend part of the morning doing what physicists call “thought experiments”. it’s not just the visualizing of some pattern or configuration but more about thinking through the whole process to try to see how, in the world, I can pull it off using the painting technique I developed, which is so different that I’ve been constantly exploring what all I can do with it; and nearly every painting presents that challenge; but for now they seem endless.
 
I know this: I want, through my use of color, to create paintings that strike the eye as beautiful and as engaging as anything one can find compelling this way in nature. Part of my process involves the actual creation of this very colorful variegated configuration; the other part is the assembling of my configurations and forms on the canvas for the painting’s construction. This part goes together much like a collage, of sorts. Since the construction is a layering process, I apply these configurations, once they are dried, together beside each other, on top of each other, or any other way I so choose. Regardless, I am able to attach each component permanently where ever I want or in any fashion I want, so that in the end — with different levels displaying different stories— I can create an overall, engaging painting with a 3-dimensional effect.
 
The ideas and themes I can create run from the gamut from the random amorphous to the more structured, explicit & concrete. The outcomes exist on a sliding scale; but regardless, I look for unity, balance, and a sense of harmony to run through the painting. I do not like glaring visual cacophony or shrill colors on a white canvas for their shock value — “art for art’s sake” taken to a mindless extreme. Besides, that sort of thing is everywhere you look, and for me , If that were all there was to do, that would be easy, and just plain boring.
Though abstract, I want my paintings to resonate, to be multi-dimensional, with depth and meaning, where all areas of my paintings — background, , foreground, positive or negative— have their own voice. I strive to have a painting where the eye can come to rest, where one can wander and discern an implicit but mutual interaction between the painting’s different voices that meld & act to complement each other. Fundamentally, I see the elements in my paintings as ”currents” that are not stationary, but one’s that come and go; but nevertheless, interact and influence each other, whether in the foreground or background— much like how life works.

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