Kent Dorn, ‘Shadowland’, 2014, McClain Gallery

About Kent Dorn

Drawing from the South Carolina landscape of his youth, Kent Dorn produces mixed-media paintings of wooded settings, full of tension and menace. Ranging from small- to large-scale, and with textured surfaces of watercolor washes and impasto passages of oil, his paintings recall the 19th-century American landscapes, horror films, hippie culture, and survivalist tales by which they are inspired. Unsettled human figures populate these forest scenes, as if staking territory or searching for it. As Dorn explains, he feeds his anxiety and curiosity about painting into his compositions, which serve as metaphors for his relationship to his medium: “The landscape in my paintings is a metaphorical space in which seekers, failed mystics, and drifters wander in search of a revelatory experience. In this way, my fictional narrative parallels the pleasures and doubts often experienced in the act of painting.”

American, b. 1977, Greer, South Carolina, based in Houston, Texas