Ken Sheffer (1936-2018)

Portrait by: Gene Sasse 2014

I think of my paintings as Metaphysical Abstractions. In them, I explore the psychology of visual perception by enticing viewers to find both conscious and subliminal responses to images which contain little or no direct reference to the familiar.

These paintings are colorfield abstractions with visual cues added to suggest references to the natural world. They are oil on canvas, painted with regular brushes. I mention this because people often think I use an airbrush. I do not.

Elements common to these paintings include hue and value gradients which produce an illusion of atmospheric light and space; simple hardedge geometry which establishes spatial structure; and often one or two small circles which suggest planets or moons. I intend to present scenes that are not real, but can only be imagined. My method extends the flat abstractionist idiom to include composite images that float and dissolve into three-dimensions.

I want viewers to enter into the dialogue comfortably and on their own terms. They are not restricted to an interpretation that coincides with the artist's original conception. What they derive from the experience becomes their own intellectual property. In that sense, the viewer is a participant, collaborating with the artist.

Untitled 2012 | oil on canvas | 88.14.05
Variations 5 2011 | oil on canvas | 89.14.05
4-Bar Horizon 2003 | oil on canvas | 91.14.05
Nonlocality? 2004 | oil on canvas |90.14.05
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