Kurt Von Behremann Art

Works by Kurt Joachim von Behrmann

2016
 

PINK FLAMING
Acrylic on Canvas Painting
45” x 37”
2016

The salient feature of this work is that the canvas is woven to the frame.  Strips of canvas cross each other in a tight arrangement. After the piece was constructed, I painted the surface as one unit, not a collection of smaller squares.

The sources of inspiration were both external and internal. Both Neo expressionism and German Expressionism were influences along with the brighter colors of Italian Neo Expressionism. On the internal side, the painting chronicles an episode in my life connected with Bipolar Disorder. 

Cutting is something most people do not discuss in the open. Self-harm is filled with stigma, shame, guilt and humiliation. Of all of the things associated with mental illness that people contend with, cutting has to be one of the most closeted.

Rather than suffer in silence, I opted to turn the act into the subject of a work of art.  The Pink Flamingo is symbolic of the spirit set free. The arm and fist are symbols of the physical world and the struggles of daily living. Symbolism and representational imagery emerged in my work during this time. I felt this work gave a language to something both mysterious, dark and unfathomable.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


  TECKEL
Acrylic on Canvas
47” x 30”
2016

Several years ago I had created several drawings inspired by traditional Japanese art and the film Rashomon by the late Great Akira Kurosawa. Those ideas remained as drawings.

When I started work on pieces for my exhibition about Bipolar Disorder, I wanted to incorporate some of that imagery into paintings. 

Teckel, the German word for Dachshund, has always been one of my favorite breeds of dog. They have huge personalities packed into compact bodies. My Teckel, Penny, has been very good at helping me overcome difficult times with Bipolar.

In this piece, the two Japanese women represent depression and mania. The female figure that faces you is mania, the one with her back towards you is depression.

The two cranes on either side are symbolic of Cranbrook, where I studied art, and the darker one is depression and the lighter one mania. Symbolism has always fascinated me and I am glad to do it.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net

2015
Cutter Bi Polar  

CUTTER
Acrylic painting on canvas
45" X 28"
2015

“Cutter” was my expression of the cutting experience. It was not long after I had my first cutting episode that I thought this experience would make a compelling painting.

Faster than any work I have ever created before, Cutter arrived like Athena out of Zeus’ head. The details needed defining, but I had a total mental picture in my mind of what I wanted to say about cutting. There were not long studies. There were no confused areas. Cutting emerged in my mind complete. The only way that image was ever going to leave me is if I paint it.

YouTube Video Link: (click here)

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


Bi Polar Art Exhibit  

PFERD, GERMAN FOR HORSE
Acrylic painting on canvas
45" X 28"
2015

Several years ago a jockey asked me if I would create a painting with him wearing his silks. The idea appealed to me. Having been raised in Kentucky may have played in a part in why I liked the concept. For reasons that I will never know the answers, he vanished. What remained with me was the idea of creating an equestrian painting.

With no previous history of ever having painted horses, I started the process with a series of sketches. Originally the horse was going to be highly stylized. As the work developed, the horse evolved into the configuration of a recognizable horse in motion, not a distortion of one.

Italian Futurism was a movement that for some inexplicable reason became a muse for this painting. Umberto Boccioni, The City Rises (1910) was one work that I recalled from art history that I felt would be starting point, along with German Expressionism. Another previous art movement that would also play a part, symbolism.

Symbolist artists believed that art should reflect an emotion or an idea rather than represent the natural world only. This was what I was doing with “Pferd,” to a great degree. The image is recognizable, but the emotions and ideas expressed are primary.

YouTube Video Link: (click here)

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net

     
2014
 

TURNING
Acrylic painting on canvas
16" X 20"
2014

After working on Cactus Tree, I wanted to explore the same theme on a small. The challenge of changing scale presents its own set of challenges.   What started out as several small trees became one large one with a second small one in the distance.  Vestiges of the previous painting are still here. Layers of paint now cover much of the original painting. The technique of building layers upon layers of paint has been a technique I employed on a number of paintings.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

MEETING
Acrylic on canvas painting
16" X 19"
2014

Italian Futurism intrigued me from the first time I saw a work in this style.  Exuberant color, rich bold paint strokes and the implication of speed and motion, the signature works of this 20th century art movement open doors for me regarding color and paint application.   

With this work, I incorporated yellow, black and sky blue into a work that is about swirling shapes in motion.  The upper part of the painting is a sky of blue and white strokes. As your eye descends downward the blue and white colors merge into white, black and yellow strokes that define a torrent of motion.                

Motion and forces meeting became the catalyst for this painting. The title “Meeting” pertains to the upper section of the painting meeting the more active swirling section of the lower segment of the work.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

HELMUT
Acrylic on canvas painting
11" X 13"
2014

Several years ago I visited an artist’s studio in Scottsdale to see his latest work.There happened to be a Greek helmet in his studio.  It struck me.

After working on the painting a face emerged that reminded me of what I had seen several years ago.  The name for this painting came from the proper name “Helmut.”  Someone in my German class in High School saw the name and pronounced it “helmet.” It struck me as funny.  Hence the name Helmut for my warrior in the Greek helmet in this painting. 

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

HAND
Acrylic on canvas painting
16" X 20"
2014

The stated intent of this work was to use swift brush strokes to create a painting that was balance by more meticulous painting methods.  I also had sections of the painting that contained white parallel lines.  Over time the marks became more detailed. The dark brush strokes evaporated into multi colored areas.     

After the work was completed, I added one black brush stroke.                

That seemed to seal the deal and end the painting of this painting.


 

CRANIUM
Acrylic on canvas painting
12" X 22"
2014

The work of June Kaneko had left an impression on me.  I like the mixture of a painter’s sensibility employed in the realized of large scale ceramic work that is highly sculptural in feeling that Kaneko is so successful at navigating.  Sculpture has always held a fascination for me.  The challenge for an artist working in two dimensions is how to depict three dimensional forms on a flat surface.

The shape of the human head came to me after some pontification.  I like the idea of a skull being a metaphor for a state of mind. In this painting the skull is partially cut off, which turned out to be effective for me in the finished work. I wanted to capture a person in the state of contemplation while focused on an object in the distance.

This painting began as a simple collection of shapes and highly textured surfaces.  Something about the work felt incomplete when it was just a formal exploration of shapes. The roughly hewn surfaces became too obvious. I wanted the textures to be in service of a shape.  I did not want the mark making or the dense textured areas to stand out by themselves. When I incorporated the dense areas into a shape that had meaning, the painting came together.  The work became more complete once the skull shape was depicted.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

BLUE SQUARE
Acrylic painting on canvas
11" X 13"
2014

This work was one that was completed over a long stretch of time.  The work was slow to evolve. In its previous states, it was a collection of abstract marks.  The work simply was without form.  It was when I looked at the vague shapes and made them more solid, it was then, the work finally came together.   Each mark was slowly added to form the final work.  Every brush stroke was slowly applied. Limiting my palette to blues and yellows, I was able to fashion a work that is about cool spaces. An artic atmosphere was created by the work.   As the work completed, the blue square in the center of the painting was one part of the work that was present from beginning to end. 

Like a number of my latest creations, movement was an important part of the piece. The long brush strokes implied a type of force at work that was literally moving objects around. I saw the painting as being about negative space becoming positive.

2013
 

RED
Acrylic on canvas painting
36" x 31"
2013

Red is a powerful color. It represents action, heat intensity and sometime volatility. There are several paintings in my oeuvre that feature red, but it has been a while since I employed that color in large parts of paintings.  After creating several predominantly red paintings in succession, I opted to explore other colors. With Red,  I wanted to use the color but with others while red remained the dominate color.  Combined with blues and other colors, I felt that “Red” has a richness that comes when using a diverse palette.  Motion, objects in chaos and violent motion were the motivations behind “Red. The major artistic influence on this work was Mimmo Paladino and other Transavanguardia artists.  I have always felt a connection to the artists in the Transavanguardia.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

FROZEN
Acrylic on canvas painting
16 " X 20"
2013

In drawing mark making can be a powerful tool.  The direction of a mark, the weight of a line, all of those things form the character of a line or mark.   Painting works much the same way. How you hold the brush, the way you apply it to the surface, the speed of the application, the thickness of the paint, all of these things influence the painting process.

I had wanted to get away from my usual way of painting and try something very different. Frozen was one of those paintings where the marks became a critical part of the way this painting came together. The objective I had for the work was to create a cool frozen world using dramatic marks.  This is perhaps my most formal painting.  It also provided me with ideas that would find fuller expression in later works.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

DIVIDE
Acrylic on canvas painting
20" X 16"
2013

Divide was one of my smaller scale paintings. There is something of  challenging about working small.  If you have worked on larger works, it makes a nice change of pace to work on a more intimate scale. What usually happens for me when I do work small is that the works look like smaller versions of larger paintings. Making the minute monumental has always had an appeal to me. 

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

TOULON
Acrylic on canvas painting
38" X 43"
2013

This was the piece that took a very long time to make. The concept for it remained in my mind for several years.  When I found some discarded rectangular pieces of wood, the solution for my painting was complete. Rectangular pieces of wood were covered with textured medium and then covered in numerous layers of paint.  Three of the four rectangular pieces were roughly textured while one remained smooth.  All of the pieces of wood were placed on wooden dowels. The three roughly hewn wooden rectangles were grouped together. The smooth one was placed at the opposite end on the right side of the canvas.

The concept behind this work was that the one lone piece was a symbol of both isolation and independence.  The use of red white and blue was reflective of the flag. It is also a reference to the French flag.  Part of the influence on this work were the impressionistic brush strokes of Claude Monet and literally any number of impressionistic paintings that depicted the French flag.   Ultimately “Toulon” is a concept painting and a piece of social commentary on being independent, free thinking and isolated from others. There is much more to Toulon than being a collection of abstract shapes. It represents the merger of highly formal visual elements into a piece of social commentary. 

Video (click here)

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net

2012
 

FLOATING
Acrylic on canvas painting with wooden frame
100" X 43"
2012

Since graduate school at Cranbrook, I have had a long time fascination with going beyond the rectangular format of the canvas. I tend to doing unusual things with them, for example making the stretcher part of the painting or assembling objects that come away from the canvas.

“Floating” included a center painting that looks as if it is floating above the four canvases that complete the painting. The entire set of paintings are held together visually by one black frame that has corners that do not meet.

With shapes as dramatic as these, a special approach to painting had to be made. I did not want the painting to overpower the potency of the shapes. On the other hand, I did not want the painting to be so bland that it disappears into the distance.   What was needed here was a subtle approach to color and shape that could make the entire construction work.

My solution to the problem was to make the central painting filled with the most visual information. The remaining four canvases would be more subdued. For some inexplicable reason, I painted each painting independently. I did not have them arranged on the wall as they would appear when finished. Instead I took each painting to the studio and worked on them independently. They were all painted separately.  I did not really know how well they would look together until the piece was finally assembled.   Fortunately, the ideas I was working with were successful.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

FIGURES IN AN OCEAN
Graphite on paper
17" X 21"
2012

Käthe Kollwitz, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele have an enviable ability to create loose, effective and highly charged figurative work. Using line and tone with high pitched intensity, I have always felt a real attraction to figurative drawing. Although I have produced a number of abstract works, I do draw from life. After a particular session with a model, who happened to be an actor, I found myself with some very strong figure drawings. The sketches were so strong I wanted to create a more finished version of the very raw sketches I had.  Taken from different drawings, I assembled the figure into what became “Figures in an Ocean.”  Taken from my “cactus tree” shapes, I merged some of those forms with the figure in this drawing. I wanted to create a visual connection between the paintings and the figurative drawing side of my oeuvre.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

ZWISCHEN (PART TWO)
Multimedia construction
18 " X 61"
2012

This painting was in two different states. It was shown after I had painted it.  I felt the painting was too distracting from the form of the canvas.  When I returned it to the studio I created a highly minimal approach to the painted surface when I reworked it.  The desire I had was for something simple.  I wanted a painting that was about subtle changes and strong geometric shapes.  Zwischen is now completed in this state.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

GATSBY
Acrylic on canvas painting
24 " X 48"
2012

In high school I remembered how much I liked “The Great Gatsby.”  The book for me was a  huge metaphor for American idealism and deep seated aspirations for wealth and privilege.  What also remained with me was the cover of the book.  The blues, reds and feeling of motion implied by the cover remained with me for many years.

As work on this painting started, I was aiming to create a dense surface of colors and shapes in agitated motion.  As I saw the colors I was working with evolve, I thought of how much the color combinations reminded me of the book cover for “The Great Gatsby.”  So I titled the finished work “Gatsby.”


 

JAZZ
Acrylic on Canvas and wood
37" X 24"
2012

Music has always been an inspiration. Aside from literature, poetry and film, music has always been a real strong source of ideas, even imagery. In many ways, music is the most abstract art form.  It makes sense that music would influence work.

Jazz was the culmination of several years, literally years, of work. The painting was in my studio just sitting.  I had been unsure of what the painting would become.  I had worked with it, but no solution was coming forward. In a fit of frustration, I opted to try a very different approach to painting. 

Taking to hear the idea that doing the same thing over and over again leads to the same conclusions, I selected mark making with paint as the way to go.  I left the under painting, which was virtually black with layers of paint, alone and spent time carefully and slowly adding marks. 

The inspiration for the approach came from a drawing. I utilized the same aesthetic and design of the drawing, but altered it to fit the medium of painting. The combination of going from a drawing as inspiration and then adapting drawing techniques to painting created a new type of painting for me.


 

NASHVILLE
Canvas, wood, string and wood construction painting
14" X 32"
2012

I am not sure why I called this particular piece Nashville, except that when I think of certain styles of music, I think of the connections between indigenous American music with the blues. The blues always fascinated me because of their ability to speak directly to sadness without guile. There is a direct feeling expressed in the blues.  It was that very direct quality that made Nashville a quiet contemplation on the emotional state of being “blue.”

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

Mixedmedia construction
14" X 26"
2012

Memphis has a deep history with music. It is also a unique place, and one that fascinated me. I felt that no suite that dealt with African-American themes and African Art would be complete without a mention of the City of Memphis. Iconic in music, I always felt a certain affection for Memphis. This piece is my tribute to the city and seemed to really complete my cycle of paintings.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

ACCRA
Multimedia construction
33" X 14"
2012

When I was young I had the opportunity to visit Ghana. The trip left a long last impression. When I was at Cranbrook African art was something of an influence on my work.  Of all of the art in my circular painting series, this one had a truly strong African Art feel to it. For that reason, I called it Accra the capital of Ghana. The wrapping and use of canvas was a revisit to themes I had used previously, but not in this particular manner.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

BERLIN
Mixedmedia construction
38" X 43"
2012

The sunlight in the city of Berlin struck me as distinctive.  When I began painting this piece, the light and color reminded me of Berlin in terms of color and atmosphere.  The painting on the round section was slightly different from the type of painting I had done on others in the series. It would be an approach that I would apply to later paintings.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

NEW ORLEANS
Mixedmedia construction
38" X 43"
2012

The circular canvas project was one where the pieces had strong connections to each other. Taking influence from African Art and contemporary art as well, I was blending two different types of art into something of a hybrid of forms. By the time I had created “New Orleans,” I had a vocabulary of forms that were appearing more than once.  I was deeply immersed in a manner of working that I felt would make a suite an interesting development of one idea carried over the course of several pieces.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

PHOENIX
Mixed media construction
14 " X 34"
2012

After working on several complex paintings, I wanted to create a minimalist type of painting. The art movement of minimalism always fascinated me. The idea of “less is more,” can provide great creative direction.  With Phoenix, I broke down painting to a yellow with subtle various in tone and a long straight extension wrapped with canvas and rope.  When completed, it reminded me of a contemporary Ojo de Dios.  For that reason I called this piece “Phoenix.”

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

ZWISCHEN
Acrylic on Canvas for paintings
59" x 18"
2012

Having completed a large scale work that consisted of several canvases, this work is a logical extension of the ideas that many other works had explored.  Here the canvases look as if suspended, rather floating, above each other. The concept was to create an icy cool atmosphere with the central painting being representative of the emotions, the heart, the real warm part of existence.  I always see idealism as a heady mix of the sensible with the emotional.  So this painting is something of a symbol  of  cool idealism, intellect, and red the fire, the spark the flame that gives meaning, energy and passion.


 

CHAPTER ONE
Acrylic on cotton canvas
48" x 48"
2012

Originally this work was part of a triptych. As a group, the paintings worked together, but they also worked as independent pieces, which was my idea from the beginning.   As the central part of the three part work, I felt that this painting was about open spaces and dramatic figurative like forms. Although abstract, the idea of a figure with his back to the viewer was a central theme. I wanted to return to using the figure, but not in any literal way. Expressing the idea of a large expanse appealed to me as well.  I envisioned the background as being a storm of swirling shapes and fragments in rapid motion.  Fragmentation, isolation and random shapes hurled through the air became the primary subject matter for Chapter One, something of an enigmatic painting for me. Eventually it was acquired by an Arizona collector.

No longer available for sale.


 

TREE
Acrylic painting on canvas
24" x 48"
2012

Trees were among the first things I ever drew.   By accident I found myself thinking about leaves and the motion of leaves.  The image stuck in my mind.  Seeing small bits of color falling down from the sky was a picture in my mind that remained.  I was also thinking about older Japanese landscapes.   The idea of working on a rectangular canvas that stresses the vertical inspired me to create “Tree.”

Even though this is a simple idea, “Tree” became a symbolic representation of change. Bits and pieces of color falling from the sky still intrigues me.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

BRUSHES
Acrylic painting on canvas
24" x 48"
2012

Tools, like brushes, become critical in the creation of a painting. Their shape, size, brush density and feel all contribute to making each brush a unique instrument.  When I began “Brushes,” I was interested in creating two poles that were tied together by thin lines.  I saw the work as a piece of sculpture. The two pole like shapes started to take on a life of their own.

As the work evolved the two poles started to resemble paint brushes.  I decided to continue with the brush connection, but in an abstract way. I thought of them as literal and at the same time abstractions. 

Brushes are extensions of one’s hand. They allow ideas to find physical expression in the real world.  On many levels Brushes is a work about the mysterious creative process that brings abstract shapes into reality.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net

2011
 

ALBATROSS
Acrylic on Canvas and wood construction piece
3' x 4'
2011

Albatross began as a much more complex painting than it is now.  Over time, I reworked the surface to look as it does now.  The resulting new painting created a more cohesive visual image.  The original concept behind the piece was to resemble a Japanese Kimono.  Configured like a Kimono, “Albatross” was my contemporary reworking of a traditional Japanese fiber art given presentation in wood and canvas.   In some ways the work has something of a figurative feel to it.  As the work was being developed, it started to feel figurative. It also incorporated approaches to the painted surface that would appear in subsequent works.   Eventually this work was sold to a private collector in Arizona.

No longer available for sale.


 

ATLANTA
Wood, canvas, string, acrylic painting construction
16 " x 53"
2011

“Atlanta,” was part of a suite of paintings that consisted of circular canvases with appendages attached. I had wanted to work with a suite of images for a long time.  By the time I had completed this piece, I was half way through the process of creating the series.  I envisioned each piece as being something of a contemporary take on art as a relic and/or visual art as being an object of contemplation.  The name of cities for each one was based on cities that left an impression on me for various reasons.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

CRACKED
Acrylic on Canvas
28" x 28"
2011

One of the advantages of the 20th Century was the advent of sculpture becoming more than just a marker of  historical events, or pieces of overt political propaganda. Not to say there is anything wrong with art with a message, but when sculpture moved towards more abstract ideas, somehow it brought a vitality to abstract art.

Having a huge admiration for sulpture, I wanted to see if I could in two dimensions capture the essence of a work, like the pieces created by Constantin Brâncuși. Much like the famed kiss, my version looks at the cracked end of love. This is really a painting about a relationship falling apart and the way a small crack can turn into a division as wide as the Grand Canyon.


 

SAIL
Medium construction wood canvas and acrylic paint
54" X 76"
2011

Sail started out as a project that was not considered a success. The folds in it were at one point consider a downside. However, for me, I really liked the shape a great deal. The dilemma with creating this piece was creating a painting that would complement the structure, and yet not be dull. I could have made the painting monochromatic, or toned it, but I wanted a richer experience. Inspired by Asian Art and patterns, this work emerged as an updating on older ideas. When completed, it transformed from being a difficult work into being a personal favorite.


 

DIEBENKORN
Acrylic on canvas painting
25" x 36"
Date 2011

Diebenkorn’s compositions have always held a fascination for me. The way he organized them have a strong architectural feel. I wanted to incorporate his sense of composition into my work, but at the same time merged with my own brush strokes and choice of color.

What made this piece an interesting surface upon which to work was that the painted surface curved.  The piece also tampered at the bottom. The unusual configuration of the work made it a challenge upon which to paint.

Being that I like working on shaped canvases, Diebenkorn presented an opportunity to create a canvas that is unconventional and somewhat sculptural in feel. 

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

FLIES
Acrylic on canvas painting
23" x 48"
2011

Swirling lines, curved shapes and the implication of motion have been constants with the new work.  In an effort to expand my repertoire of brush strokes, I used long extended ones to paint in a linear way that had in common with drawing than traditional painting.

As the marks piled up forming shapes, I liked the way the brush strokes in terms of their direction and color density fashioned a world of their own.

Using browns and blues, color combinations I had not worked with previously, I wanted to work with colors in new combinations that would create a specific type of mood.  I was looking for a contemplative atmosphere for the work.  The result of my search was “Flies.”

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

CAROUSEL
Painting, two paintings
Sold in a private collection in Ahwatukee, Arizona
Two acrylic on canvas paintings
2011

Working on commission can be both a pleasure and roller coaster ride. There is the thrill of a new project. That is always a rush. There is also the imminent possibility that what you create may not live up to the expectations of the patron. 

The problem I was given with this painting was to create a desert landscape that contained no desert colors.  My  first impulse was to create colors so bold that no one would ever see them in an arid Arizona landscape.

Working with pinks, oranges, blues and purples, Carousel  emerged. A two part painting, the first large painting contains a completed abstract work beneath, this landscape is a reiteration of the scenery  found in the  patron’s back yard. I was not sure what to think except I liked it a great deal.

when the painting was installed, my benefactor said, “If you had told me what colors you were going to use I would have told you to repaint the entire painting.” This was no joke.  As it turned out, I was not asked to repaint.  

Interestingly enough, I was offered another commission as soon as construction is complete on a building that is in to become a home to this person’s existing, and thriving, business.


 

CACTUS TREE
Acrylic on canvas painting
31" x 31"
2011

Lisa Lippard talks about location as an influence on art.  Living in a desert community is an environment that exerts a strong presence on creativity. At the time I started Cactus Trees, I was interested in creating a painting that talked about location, but not in an obvious way. I wanted to talk about more than just landscapes or a feeling of living in a place where temperatures can reach 120 degrees.             

The solution to the problem of how to create a distinctively Arizona painting without resorting to clichés and trite imagery found expression in the most iconic of Southwestern Art, the cactus. Broken down into a simple shape described by circular brush strokes, the resulting trees were expressions of states of mind. I wanted to create a work that talked about independence, isolation and stillness all taking place on a warm day.  The light here in summer can be intense. It provides an overwhelming sense of color to things. I wanted to capture that intensity along with the arid climate of Phoenix, Arizona.             

Eventually Cactus Tree emerged as my solution. It was a work that provided input for others to follow. A few months after it was created the work was shown at the Herberger Theater in an exhibition to celebrate the centennial of Arizona as a State. The work felt totally appropriate in such a themed exhibition.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net

2010
 

BLUE
Acrylic painting on cotton canvas

2010

The idea of “weaving” canvas served to communicate several ideas. The primary one I had in mind was viewing the interlocking rows of canvas as metaphors for the many experiences one has in life. Over time experiences and insights form the fabric of existence, the metaphor I was thinking of when I started to paint this work. The painting process was intriguing. The raw canvas was gessoed first.  After the primary coat dried each square formed by the over lapping canvas was painted individually with layer upon layer of thin glazes of paint.  Eventually the tones reached a point that I determined to be finished after several successive applications of paint. This piece found its way into a private collection in Arizona.

No longer available for sale.


 

BAG
prisma color and graphite on paper
25" X 19"
2010

Inspiration for the design of this work came from an advertisement. I cannot recall the publication, but I was thumbing through the pages when I saw a design for a particular bag. What struck me about it was that it was a very architectural looking design. The bag also featured a lot of color. Blending my own color sensibility with the forms of the bag, I created the appropriately titled “Bag.” 

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

LYDIA LANE
Prisma color and graphite on paper
25 " X 19"
2010

Drawing was my primary form of visual expression when I started creating art. Over time painting became the major focus of my visual expressions. However, sketches, prep drawings and notes were always to be found in my studio. For me, all work starts as a sketch. However, drawings are more than studies for larger pieces.  I see drawings as complete works that can stand on their own. The need to return to drawing came when I started “Lydia Lane.” The sources for this work came from traditional Japanese wedding ceremony attire and urban architecture.   

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

MAILE NUDE
Acrylic on canvas
19" X 23"
2010

When I was working on conducting drawing workshops, I had the opportunity to draw from life. During one of the sessions I had a set of figure drawings of one particular model who had posed for my groups on several occasions. What struck me was his ability to project that he was in great thought and yet remain perfectly still. From several sketches I had of him, one stuck out as ideal for a small painting. Using browns, yellows and greens, the color combination formed this figurative creation.  

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

THREE MEN
Acyrlic on Canvas painting
48.5" x 36"
2010

This painting is in reality a homage to an artist who has always inspired me.  From the first time I saw the work of Egon Schiele, it was like seeing a view of the world that was fresh. Intelligent, and so imaginative, viewing his work was like walking inside the imagination of another person’s mind without confusion or ambiguity.

What had started as an abstract painting evolved into a figurative one. The original concept looked weak. The colors seemed washed out, and I was looking at the painting thinking it was missing something. 

Armed with abstract ideas, I finished the painting. It was a sea of golds and greens with a huge cross in the center.  Frustrated, I took a bold move and painted a figure over the top of my failed painting.  Pushing past the blurs, several figures emerged with the central one as a center piece totally inspired by Egon Schiele, with no doubt elements of the 20th century, and 21st century thrown in to the mix. 

Of all of my figurative works, I feel that this one reflects the anguish of our times in the United States.  With so much in a state of flux and uncertainty, I felt this painting captured that feeling of not knowing what to do next, which was the fuel that drove this painting in the very first place.


Commissioned Project

VISION

The vision painting was a commissioned project for the Offices of Vision Community Property Management in Ahwatukee Arizona.  The company had moved to larger offices and the owner wanted to have a work of art that reflected his vision.  Given total creative freedom, the work you see here is the finished product. The work was about four feet by nine feet wide.

The word “vision” implies more than simply seeing what is perceivable.  Vision, for me, denotes the ability to see what is not immediately obvious.  It is the ability to perceive what potentially could be and in that perception realizing a larger framework of ideas that gives the word a deeper meaning. The forward thinking element of the word was what inspired me to create the work of the same name.

When construction began on “Vision,” I  was presented with the problem of  what colors, symbols and shapes to select  in order to convey what I felt the word encompassed.   What immediately came to mind for me was the literally notion of a frame.   In order to make any practical sense of the assorted bits of information in the world, one needs a frame work from which to work.  It is that mental construction that permits thoughts to be organized and conclusions reached. 

The black oak frame that encompasses and supports the painting that rests inside of it is an integral part of the total work.  The frame is a metaphor for the mental constructions used to give ideas a rational, logical systematic relationship to each other. 

In several of my most recent works the underlying structure is exposed. It becomes part of the entire painting.  In the piece “Vision,” the underlying structure is a visual element in addition to being a conceptual one. It  provides what I consider a strong physical presence that underscores the concept of the work.

The canvas that rests inside the frame is an abstraction notion of what a thought could be if given visual form.  The large image that diagonally crosses the center of the painting represents the moment when a new idea arrives.   As if on wings, concepts can appear, sometimes without notice. The elation that comes when those ideas arrive can give those fortunate enough to have them  a feeling that all can be overcome.

After several concept drawings, and experiments with paint and color, “Vision” progressed in a mysterious progression of stages. Each phase was like an unraveling union. As layers of paint were applied, layers of meaning and new forms emerged.

One of the virtues of working large is that you have space.  Instead of working with a few elements, you have the room, the freedom to explore large ideas in a big way.  Vision was, and is,  the kind of painting that can only be created after one has experienced a long and intense creative odyssey. From travels, studies, teaching, writing and many experiments in the studio, “Vision” has emerged as one of my most significant creative statements.  It is one I am proud to call my own.


 

GOODBYE
Acrylic on canvas
14" x 36"
2010

Because of my background, or the sometimes transient nature of being an artist who had to move from State to State to find employment, loss is not exactly an unfamiliar feeling to me. Having lost a parent before birth, and witnessing several brutal divorces in my family, the idea of having something and then losing it creates a sense of instability, and yet a deep understanding that very few things last.  It is just the nature of existence. This painting is about that desire to have stability, but fully aware than nothing, either relationships, friendships or lovers last as long as one might wish.

What does emerge, that is positive is that once you know you can survive a loss, even a huge one, the ability to live, move forward and find some happiness is there. This is ultimately a positive painting, but one not at all unaware of the downsides to the human condition.


 

CROSS
Acrylic painting on cotton canvas
48.5" x 36"
2010

Childhood memories, stain glass windows, the work of Matisse, German Expressionist art and Italian Futurism meet in this work that has roots in religious iconography.  Church art has always held a fascination for me. Images that connect with the metaphysical often carry with them specific meanings. The symbolic language of religious art means that certain images immediately convey a message, meaning, references. With this work I was using Christian images to tell an abstract version of the crucifixion. 

This work has been purchased.


 

ISOLATIONS
Acrylic on canvas painting
32" x 48"
2010

After working on a number of abstract paintings and constructions, I wanted to create a painting that dealt with the human form. I wanted something vague, sculptural and yet resembled a human presence.

Not sure how the work was going to develop, I knew it would be a work about isolation. I was seeking a painting that addressed the idea of being alone in a dark open space.

What I had intended found expression in this work. The objective was to create a sense of isolation and introspection in a cold environment. Compared to the inner vision I had for the piece, the end result was a full realization of my original vision.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

LEXINGTON
Construction, rope, wood,acrylic paint string
14" x 34"
2010

The idea of reducing my work to the most essential elements was not an easy under taking. However, the desire to reduce the work to the most bare always had an appeal. There is a quality to minimalism that has a certain elegance. The problem is how to make the work simple without becoming simplistic. Over time, the means to do that arrived when I created Lexington.


 

NIGHT
Acrylic on canvas painting
25" X 25"
2010

White lines that define a form set against a dark ground was what started this painting.  I also wanted to divide the painting into a “Day” section that was filled with bright colors that were in direct contrast to the black portion of the work, the “Night” segment.  The interplay between two opposing forces meeting to form a unified object provided fertile creative ground.  I wanted the opposites to be in sharp contrast. I also liked the white lines being like blue print drawings from the days of architectural plans when they were blue with white lines.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

SWIRL
Acrylic on canvas painting
20" X 25"
2010

One juror interpreted this piece as being about death and aging.  He saw the tomb like shape to be reminiscent of a graveyard.  I suppose one could see it that way.  I saw it as a piece about the swirling of thoughts in one’s mind and the tomb like shape representative of a person seeing things from the outside looking inward. That was my perspective on the piece.

As for aging, I could see it being interpreted that way as well. 

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net

2008
 

RELIC
Multimedia construction
20" X 61"
2008

After I completed Icon, Relic was the second piece in my suite of round canvases.  This one had two hanging elements to it and was the first to be created like this.  I felt that this work, which was one of the larger of the round canvas series, showed a development even a refinement of some ideas that were in the first one.  The subdued colors were also a change for me. Originally I had planned the painting to be black.  In fact the entire painting was black.  When I saw it all black, I felt that I could do more with color.  So I added assorted colors to the black as glazes.  The color forced me to do more and think of color in a richer way.  In retrospect I am glad I did not leave it all black.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

ICON
Multimedia construction
16 " X 66"
2008

Icon had an interesting development. It started as a simple round painting.  The work was shown in that state. Then something happened in my thinking about the piece and I wanted to do more with the round canvas.  When I returned to the studio I added a substantial addition and reworked the round painted surface.  Adding bamboo, string and a long hanging element to it, Icon became the first of the round paintings and started me on the process of creating a suite of round paintings.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net


 

FAN
Acrylic paint on wooden panels
39" X 39"
2008

Fan began as an experiment in painting on a different type of format.  It was created to be on exhibition but instead hung in my studio, where it is now.  For some inexplicable reason, this work was never placed in any of my exhibitions.  I had some reservations about the piece, but over time I started to like it more as time passed.  Inspired by Japanese landscape paintings, this work will probably remain in my studio for some time to come.  I have become accustomed to having it around.

Price available upon request.
Email: behrmannart@cox.net

2007
 

ONION
Acrylic on canvas with wood polychrome construction
26" X 38"
2007

Layers, depth, creating a work that talks to layers became the foundation for Onion.  The metaphor is that  a person , or a piece of art for that matter, is akin to an onion.   In order to get to it, you have to move pas the layers, much like pealing an onion where you keep going and going and there seems to be more that is there. Onion is composed of three separate paintings. Each one can stand on its own. When combined, one  inside the other with the wall surface being seen beneath, the work becomes a three part work that tells you move about the finished product.

     
 
Kurt Von Behrmann Art