Wednesday, May 1, through Sunday, June 30
MidCoast Centre Station Gallery, 1200 River Drive, Moline IL
Drawing inspiration from works of the surrealist and abstract-expressionist movements, particularly those that explore the subconscious, Davenport-based artist Nathaniel Kraft presents an exhibition of his paintings at the MidCoast Centre Station Gallery from May 1 through June 30 – the results of an artistic process, the artist says, “driven by the desire to bring suppressed feelings, memories, and ideas to the surface through abstraction.”
Kraft's MidCoast exhibit will top off his impending graduation from Western Illinois University, where he will receive an M.A. In Museum Studies, having already earned a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Describing his process in his Artist Statement, Kraft says, “Specific themes being explored in the work deal with personal and public space around family dynamics and individual growth. The art process is then used to visually describe these complex ideas through the exploration of psychology, where I can find more efficient ways to contextualize them visually than through written text.
“I’m influenced by surrealist and abstract-expressionist artists who explore the self-consciousness and create abstract imagery, which is the use of ideas or nonrepresentational forms rather than events or recognizable imagery. These abstractions themselves can manifest within reality, by the breaking down of recognizable forms to make the imagery. My working process begins with identifying and researching a historical process in order to reinterpret it in a contemporary way. Many of the techniques explored in my work reflect a surrealist or abstract expressionist approach to spatial depth, symmetry, balance, and color theory to create a believable space that expresses a form or even idea that has no real physical manifestation. I like to combine the careful intentions of symmetrical and perspective art with the free, automatic flow of surreal and abstract thought, through a variety of mediums from traditional acrylic paint and charcoal to mixed-media installation.
“Through making such work, taking one of my color-based paintings for example, I learn more about who I am as a person based on how I react to a certain color being placed inside a space, and how it interacts with other colors or shapes. This requires me to delve into my inner consciousness to work through a process, which in turn challenges myself to readily express what I believe when it is difficult to contextualize into words.”
Nathaniel Kraft's painting exhibition will be on display at Moline's MidCoast Centre Station Gallery May 1 through June 30, with regular gallery hours Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and more information is available by calling (563)424-1210 or visiting MidCoast.org.