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CHRIS KAHLER Hybrid Dynamic

bruno david gallery


CHRIS KAHLER: Hybrid Dynamic October 30 - December 19, 2009

Bruno David Gallery 3721 Washington Boulevard Saint Louis, 63108 Missouri, U.S.A. info@brunodavidgallery.com www.brunodavidgallery.com Director: Bruno L. David This catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition CHRIS KAHLER: Hybrid Dynamic Editor: Bruno L. David Catalog Designer: Yoko Kiyoi Design Assistant: Claudia R. David Printed in USA All works courtesy of Bruno David Gallery and Chris Kahler Cover Image: Dynamic Hybrid A-3 (detail), 2009 Acrylic, Oils and Gel Mediums on canvas 72 x 96 inches (182.88 x 243.84 cm)

Copyright Š 2009 Bruno David Gallery, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of Bruno David Gallery, Inc.


Contents

Essay by James Yood Afterword by Bruno L. David Checklist of the Exhibition Biography

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Essay by James Yood 2


Paintings, after all, are not living things. But artists are, and every once in a while one comes along like Chris Kahler, who manages to imbue paintings with a wondrous sense of the very processes of life, whose images exude a kind of evocative biologic logic that offers us a glimpse into realms we instinctively recognize though never quite see. Like life itself Kahler’s surfaces can churn and seethe about, seem abstract and risky, and brush tantalizingly against the edge of chaos, but the core dictates of nature always seem to keep this tumult in order, the things that surge and course over his images follow patterns that in their way are as inexorable as the turning of the Earth. One method of seeing this is to note how assiduously Kahler push/pulls amidst the micro- and the macro-, between the cosmic and the particular. An image by Kahler can suggest both the capillary system of a tiny creature or the gravitational interactions of galaxies, the cellular meeting the infinite and viceversa, recognizing universal laws and impulses that as much as anything come to govern the totality of existence. Within specific works tightly described areas of clustered circular elements, little pods of surging life forces, often abut areas of dreamy spatial interstices like color-enhanced cultures growing in some astral Petri dish, casting his organic-like elements in relief and implying their potential for motion and growth. Life requires liquid (you are about 60% composed of water) and Kahler evocatively riffs on the liquidity of paint as a kind of parallel aqueous system to his subject matter. His color palette has become remarkably bolder and brighter in this body of work, and Kahler layers and intersperses color to great effect, always heightening his dramas. But it is the fluidity of paint, the way it can ooze over a surface, wet on wet, collect in pools or course in rivulets, stretched to great lengths traversing these images or dolloped out in little droplets, that is central here, the sense that paint itself is a culture in which stuff can grow and evolve. To what end? That’s finally for each of us to consider—Chris Kahler is an artist who offers platforms rather than tells tales, he provides us an aperture toward wonder and imagination rather than illustrating something we already know. To my mind he’s a kind of cosmic artist, who speaks to things that were here before us and will be here when we are gone, his process mimicking his subject matter. Life will out, after all, sometimes in patterns and episodes that can seem messy and arbitrary, but always finally in response to some dictate of nature that must have its way. These paintings are deeply engaged metaphors for those processes, and whether they suggest the complex infinities within a blade of grass or the chambers of a human heart, within the nucleus of an atom or played out amidst the stars, they let us hear again, as Edvard Munch put it, “the vast infinite cry of nature.” — James Yood James Yood teaches art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and directs its New Arts Journalism program. He writes regularly for Artforum magazine.

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Afterword I am pleased to exhibit a series of new paintings by Chris Kahler at the Bruno David Gallery. Support for the creation of significant new works of art has been the core to the mission and program of the Bruno David Gallery since its founding. Chris Kahler’s remarkable and compelling work makes him one of the most impressive artists of the gallery. The visual impact of these works can easily be acknowledged from a distance, but it is upon closer inspection that the viewer is treted to the nuances of textures and pattern that organize the surface of each painting. Organic and geometric shapes surge over the surface to formulate a complex visual movement through each of the works. With their dense and layered compositions of vibrant, abstracted subjects, Kahler’s new paintings explore dualities. There is a collision of intuitive and rational thought, conflict and order, evoking both the macro and micro sides of the natural world. Synthetic and natural colors collide to create a hybridization of variations of pattern and form that in turn create mutations on multiple levels. Not only biological in nature, these new works explore the fields of architecture, ecology, network theory and cybernetics. Chris Kahler received his BFA at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1991. Within his junior year of college, he spent a semester abroad at Parson’s School of Art And Design and the American University in Paris, France. He then went on for an MA at Eastern Illinois University and an MFA from Northwestern University in 1995. He is currently an Associate Professor at Eastern Illinois University. — Bruno L. David

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Checklist of the Exhibition and Images

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Bionica, 2009

Acrylic and Gel mediums on paper 5 x 20 feet (152.4 x 609.6 cm) 8


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Bionica (detail), 2009

Acrylic and gel mediums on paper 5 x 20 feet (152.4 x 609.6 cm) 10


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Bionica (detail), 2009

Acrylic and gel mediums on paper 5 x 20 feet (152.4 x 609.6 cm) 12


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Bionica (detail), 2009

Acrylic and gel mediums on paper 5 x 20 feet (152.4 x 609.6 cm) 14


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Dynamic Hybrid A-2, 2009

Acrylic and gel mediums on canvas 36 x 72 inches (91.44 x 182.88 cm) 16


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Dynamic Hybrid A-2 (detail), 2009 Acrylic and gel mediums on canvas 36 x 72 inches (91.44 x 182.88 cm) 18


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Dynamic Hybrid A-2 (detail), 2009 Acrylic and gel mediums on canvas 36 x 72 inches (91.44 x 182.88 cm) 20


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Hybrid Dynamics A-3, 2009

Acrylic, Oils and Gel mediums on board 48 x 60 inches (116.84 x 152.4 cm) 22


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Viral A-17 (2nd State), 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on board 46 x 60 inches (116.84 x 152.4 cm) 24


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Viral A-17 (2nd State) (detail), 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on board 46 x 60 inches (116.84 x 152.4 cm) 26


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Dynamic Hybrid A-1, 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on canvas 72 x 96 inches (182.88 x 243.84 cm) 28


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Dynamic Hybrid A-1 (detail), 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on canvas 72 x 96 inches (182.88 x 243.84 cm) 30


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Dynamic Hybrid A-1 (detail), 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on canvas 72 x 96 inches (182.88 x 243.84 cm) 32


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Dynamic Hybrid A-3, 2009

Acrylic and gel mediums on canvas 48 x 60 inches (121.92 x 152.4 cm) 34


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Dynamic Hybrid A-3 (detail), 2009 Acrylic and gel mediums on canvas 48 x 60 inches (121.92 x 152.4 cm) 36


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Hybrid Dynamics A-5, 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on board 36 x 48 inches (91.44 x 121.92 cm) 38


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Hybrid Dynamics A-1, 2009

Acrylic and gel mediums on board 36 x 48 inches (91.44 x 121.92 cm) 40


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Hybrid Suspension, 2009

Acrylic, oils and gel mediums on board 36 x 48 inches (91.44 x 121.92 cm) 42


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Hybrid Dynamics A-6, 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on board 46 x 60 inches (116.84 x 152.4 cm) 44


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Hybrid Dynamics A-6 (detail), 2009

Acrylic, Oils and gel mediums on board 46 x 60 inches (116.84 x 152.4 cm) 46


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Hybrid Dynamic A-4, 2009

Acrylic and Gel mediums on board 18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm) 48


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Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic at Bruno David Gallery, 2009 (installation view - detail) 50


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Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic at Bruno David Gallery, 2009 (installation view - detail) 52


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Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic at Bruno David Gallery, 2009 (installation view - detail) 54


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Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic at Bruno David Gallery, 2009 (installation view - detail) 56


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Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic at Bruno David Gallery, 2009 (installation view - detail) 58


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Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic at Bruno David Gallery, 2009 (installation view - detail) 60


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CHRIS KAHLER Lives and works in Illinois EDUCATION M.F.A. M.A. B.F.A.

1995, Painting/Printmaking concentration, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1992, Painting/Drawing concentration, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois 1991, Painting concentration, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio 1990, Study Abroad, Parson’s School of Art and Design and The American University, Paris France

ONE-PERSON EXHIBITIONS 2009 2007 2006 2004 2002 1997

Bruno David Gallery, Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic, St. Louis, Missouri , (November-December) The John P. Weatherhead Gallery, Chris Kahler: Interconnectivity , University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, Indiana, (August-October) Bruno David Gallery, Chris Kahler: VIRAL, St. Louis, Missouri, (October-November) Bruno David Gallery, Impulsive Systems: The Works of Chris Kahler, Saint Louis, Missouri Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Chris Kahler: Recent Works (October - November), Saint Louis, Missouri The International Museum of Surgical Science, Chris Kahler: ANATOMICA, (February 22-April 28), Chicago, Illinois John Almquist Gallery, Dismantling Beauty: Christopher Kahler, Winnetka, Illinois

SLECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2009 2008

NEXT, Art Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, (Bruno David Gallery) Overview_09, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri Synchronous Events, Works of Chris Kahler and Charles Schwall, Purdue University, Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries, Lafayette, Indiana New Paintings, IL+MO, Edwardsville Arts Center, Curated by Daniel Raedeke, Edwardsville, Illinois Controlled Chaos, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri Overview_08, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri

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2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1996

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ArtsDesire, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri. Biennial 24, South Bend Museum of Art, Curated by Meg Sheehy and Myra Casis, South Bend, Indiania Paper Now, I Space, Chicago, Illinois Overview_07, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri Drawing & Watercolor, Tarble Arts Center, Charleston, Illinois Overview_06, Bruno David Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri Inaugural Exhibition, Bruno David Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri Le Papier, Gescheidle Gallery, Chicago, Illinois The (In)Visible Body. Curated by Heather Weber, NIU Gallery, Chicago, Illinois Noire, Curated by Bruno L. David, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, Missouri Abstract Painting: Six Points of View, Curated by Belinda Lee, RAC Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri 1984-2004 Twentieth Anniversary Celebration, Curated by Bruno L. David, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, Missouri Art St. Louis XX, Curated by Chakaia Booker, Art St. Louis Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Art..., Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, Missouri Size Matters, Curated by Bruno L. David, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, Missouri Midwestern Exhibition, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Illinois Art St. Louis Selections, Schmidt Art Center, Belleville, Missouri 2004, Curated by Mel Watkin, Art St. Louis Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri Greater Midwest, International Exhibition XIX, Art Center Gallery, Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, Missouri Works on Paper, I-Space Gallery, Chicago, Illinois Systematic, Cade Center for the Fine Arts Gallery, Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, Maryland Art St. Louis XIX, Art St. Louis Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri Ready for War, University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois Southern Illinois Artists Exhibition, Mitchell Museum, Mount Vernon, Illinois Polka-dots and Squiggly Things, Gescheidle Gallery, Chicago, Illinois Inspired in Illinois, Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, Peoria, Illinois Artists-Alumni: Masters of Fine Arts from Northwestern’s Department of Art Theory and Practice, Block Museum, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois Nineteenth Biennial Southern Illinois Artists Exhibition, Mitchell Museum, Mount Vernon, Illinois The 13th Biennial Drawing/Watercolor: Illinois Exhibition, Tarble Art Museum, Charleston, Illinois The 2000 Rockford-Midwestern Exhibition, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Illinois Americas 2000, Northwest Art Center, Minot State University, Minot, North Dakota Seventh Biennial Regional Arts Exhibition, University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois Gary Justis Appoints Three: Regina Allen, Chris Kahler, and Brian Schuetz, Lineage Gallery, Chicago, Illinois


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Yood, James. Beall, Dickson. Artner, Alan. Houston, Joe. Bonetti, David. Downen, Jill Bonetti, David. ___________ Miller, Rob. Cooper, Ivy. Bonetti, David. Crone, Tomas. Beall, Hugh. Miller, Rob. Beall, Hugh. Bonetti, David. Sieloff, Alison. Bonetti, David. Murphy, Anne. Cooper, Ivy. Callahan, Teresa. Weir, Alex. ___________ Bonetti, David. Cooper, Ivy. Martelli, Rose. Bonetti, David. Cooper, Ivy. Bonetti, David. Cooper, Ivy.

“Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic”, Catalogue, Essay. Bruno David Gallery Publications, November 2009 “Live Virus”, West End Word, November 7, 2007 “Paper Now”, Chicago Tribune, September 21, 2007 “Chris Kahler: Viral”, Catalogue, Essay. Bruno David Gallery Publications, October 2007 “Biology in art”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, March 29, 2006 “Chris Kahler: Impulsive Systems”, Catalogue, Essay. Bruno David Gallery Publication, March 2006 “Chris Kahler: Impulsive Systems”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, March 9, 2005 “Five Galleries Not to Miss.” Where Magazine, March 2006 “’Over hung’ show or ‘Hung over’ critic?” Saintlouisart, November 17, 2005. “Bruno David Gallery: Inaugural Exhibition”, Riverfront Times, November 9, 2005. “Bruno David Gallery”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, November 9, 2005 “Bruno David to Open on Friday”, 52nd City, October 2005, http://blog.52ndcity.com/archives “The Bruno buzz”, West End Word, October 26, 2005 “Bruno David Gallery: Inaugural Exhibition”, Saintlouisart, October 25, 2005. “Bruno David Gallery: Inaugural Exhibition”, Illusion Junkie, October 25, 2005. Web Video. http://illusionjunkie.blogspot.com/2005/10/bruno-david-inaugural-exhibition.html “Bruno David Gallery: Inaugural Exhibition”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, October 20, 2005 “Grand Grand Center”, Riverfront Times, October 19, 2005 “Gallery musical chairs”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, October 1, 2005 “Art News”, The Healthy Planet, September 2005, “Abstract Painting: Six Points of View”, Riverfront Times, November 10-16, 2004, p. 40, St. Louis, MO. “Abstract Painting: Six Points of View”, West End Word, October 27-November 2, 2004, p.13. St. Louis, MO. “The Symbiosis of Pride and Biology”, Riverfront Times, October 20-26, 2004, p.32. St. Louis, MO. “Hot Picks”, Vital VOICE, October 8-22, 2004, p. 15. St. Louis, MO. “Artist Celebrate Elliot Smith With Works Incorporating 20,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 3, 2004. p. F6. St. Louis, MO. “1984-2004 Twentieth Anniversary Celebration At Elliot Smith”, Riverfront Times, September 29-October 5, 2004, p. 178. St. Louis, MO. “Smith Elliot: The Gallery Looks In The Mirror For Its 20th.”, Riverfront Times, September 15-21, 2004, p. 32. St. Louis, MO. “Legends of the Fall - Critic’ Picks,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 2, 2004. p. 2 (Get Out). St. Louis, MO. “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Art...”, Riverfront Times, July 28-August 3, 2004, p. 42. St. Louis, MO. “Everything Show”, , July 18, 2004. p. F8. St. Louis, MO. “Size Matters”, Riverfront Times, June 9-15, 2004, p. 39. St. Louis, MO.

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___________ ___________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ Guo, Yang Chang. McConnell, Gordon. _________ .

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New American Paintings, Midwest Issue, August, 2004. National Juried Art Exhibition. Exhibition catalogue, El Dorado Museum, El Dorado, KS, 2003. Southern Illinois Artists Exhibition, Exhibition catalogue, Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL, 2003. “Paintings by Kahler on Display at Chicago Gallery”, Charleston Times Courier, December 16, 2002. “Anatomica: EIU Art Professor’s Work Exhibited in Chicago”, Charleston Times Courier, Cover of Lifestyles section, March 20, 2002. Chicago Reader. Exhibition announcement with photograph, Chicago, IL, April 5, 2002, March 15, 2002, April 11, 1997. Artists/Alumni: Masters of Fine Arts from Northwestern’s Department of Art Theory and Practice. The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art Press, Exhibition catalogue, Northwestern University, 2001. 72-3, 109. “Christopher B Kahler,” Vermont Studio Center Press, Liao Ning Fine Arts Publishing House, 2000, pp. 145-151. Americas 2000. Minot State University Press, Exhibition Catalogue, Minot State University, ND, August-September 2000. 17th Harper College National Print and Drawing Exhibition, Harper College Press, Exhibition catalogue, Harper College, Palatine, IL, 1993


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ARTISTS Margaret Adams Dickson Beall Laura Beard Elaine Blatt Martin Brief Lisa K. Blatt Shawn Burkard Bunny Burson Carmon Colangelo Alex Couwenberg Jill Downen Yvette Drury Dubinsky Corey Escoto

Beverly Fishman Damon Freed William Griffin Joan Hall Takashi Horisaki Kim Humphries Kelley Johnson Howard Jones (Estate) Chris Kahler Bill Kohn (Estate) Leslie Laskey Sandra Marchewa Peter Marcus

Patricia Olynyk Robert Pettus Daniel Raedeke Chris Rubin de la Borbolla Frank Schwaiger Charles Schwall Christina Shmigel Thomas Sleet Buzz Spector Lindsey Stouffer Cindy Tower Mario Trejo Ken Worley

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Chris Kahler: Hybrid Dynamic