KEVIN SLOAN - The Wanderer’s Garden
Opening Reception: February 3, 2018, 6-10pm
Showing Through February 24, 2018
Wander into K Contemporary art gallery this February and you’ll find yourself suddenly, singularly, exquisitely caught between the timeless and the transitory.
“The Wanderer’s Garden” will feature paintings by Denver artist Kevin Sloan, thoughtfully contemplating the sometimes fanciful, often uneasy, and always intriguing relationship between unconsciously sublime Nature and the calculated contrivances of Man.
“This group of paintings brings together two enduring themes in my work,” explains Sloan, whose extraordinary works
are sought by public and private galleries and collectors across the country and the world. “Metaphorically, a garden is a very specific place or state on mind which affords permanence, growth and creates abundance. The wanderer is the opposite, a concept which is defined by searching, impermanence, uncertainty, risk, loss and resilience.”
In that fertile field of contrasts, Sloan plants a seed of the synthetic into each green bower, an artifact so familiar as to be unremarkable, but in that improbable context pointedly disturbs our logical expectations. A term often applied to Sloan’s work is “allegorical realism”.
“An equally useful term would be metaphorical realism,” he suggests. “My work has a strong narrative component, and
it’s realist in the sense that I mostly depict objects and environments we understand. The allegory and metaphor come to play when I insert something out of context as a stand-in for a larger concept without depicting it literally.
”I’ve included elements as far-ranging as a porcelain elk in a snow landscape to hazy archery targets drifting across a
pastoral landscape, and there will be recurring themes like watering cans, suitcases and teacups. The paintings refer to
each other, and viewers will start to make connections between them. At that point they’re involved in the conversation.”
If Sloan’s unlikely landscapes quite deliberately confound our rational natures, they unfailingly gratify the eye, enchant
the heart, and invite endless contemplation, speculation and meditation. There’s an agreeable hint of mystery about his
happily wedded mismatches, and more than a little of the whimsy that’s been a hallmark of his work during 30 years in
the studio. But just as our relationship with changeless Nature must ripen with age, so Sloan’s vision for his artistic
garden has continued to evolve.
“My basic instincts haven’t changed, but my intentions have,” he says. “I’m less interested in the work as light-hearted
entertainment. We live in a time of great dislocation and disruption, and my idea was to create a body of work that
allows a sense of wandering through varied experiences, each painting creating a sense of marvel and the sublime that
happens for me in the presence of something wondrous. I still want to create beautiful and stunning paintings, but in the
context of the world I live in, with eyes wide open.”
Kevin Sloan received a BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art and his MFA in Painting in 1984 from the University
of Arizona. His work is found in numerous private and public collections worldwide including the Israel Museum,
Jerusalem, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida and the Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona.