Life in the Woods: Evocative Landscape Paintings
October 7th – November 26th, 2016
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what I have to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” – Henri David Thoreau
As a landscape painter I haven’t spent two years, two months and two days in a cottage in the woods like Thoreau, but I have gone there to seek inspiration and to find my calling. As a landscape painter I’m interested in creating environments in my paintings that reaffirm a sense of place for the viewer and touch on the essential facts of life and our connection to nature. I feel my roll as an artist is to experience places deeply and communicate those experiences to the viewer. I consciously pay attention to the noises, smells, and changes in light and temperature of a place, which allows me to be swept up in the environment.
Several of the paintings in this exhibition were done on site and in quick, spontaneous bursts of excitement and passion. They serve as recordings of my time spent in the woods: palaces where time was well spent, places that have helped me discover something about life. Often these paintings serve as studies for more compulsive detailed studio paintings, some of which are also featured in this exhibition.
The larger paintings focus on the more elemental side of nature. I search for moments when the landscape is in a state of flux or transformation, and then paint from life and from photographs to express these moments poetically. My paintings convey nature at very unique or unusual moments, thus capturing the spirit of a place. -Kevin Muente
Kevin Muente received his BFA in drawing and painting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1994 and his MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 1999. While working for nationally-known mural artist Timothy Haglund, he assisted in the production of murals at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, the Johnson Wax Worldwide Headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, and at several private residences. He has exhibited paintings in various national juried competitions and is currently represented by several reputable galleries world wide. This is his first solo exhibition with Marta Hewett Gallery. He a has garnered several awards and honors including the Kentucky Arts Council’s Al Smith individual Artists Fellowship, as well as the Cincinnati Summerfair Aid to Individual Artists Grants. Muente has won several artist residencies at Denali National Park and Preserve, the Wrangell Mountain Center in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, both in Alaska, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Wildacres in North Carolina. His work is in several public and private collections. Muente has previously taught at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Missouri Western Sate University. He currently teaches art at Northern Kentucky University achieving the rank of full professor.