I am an artist in Denver, Colorado. My current work is based on observation of the local natural surroundings. Here are some words about my recent work:
What Came First is a group of six acrylic and oil paintings on canvas based on the sight of an egg left out on our kitchen countertop. Against the blackness of the speckled granite the egg looked like a moon in outer space! Depth, scale, silence, potential energy — it had it all. But when I attempted to paint this still life straight-up, Smithson came swimming back into my mental space and the paintings veered off course into Deep Time (google it): an oblate spheroid, our evolutionary egg in "space" with moisture building, proteins folding, beings emerging; etched in the rocks, embedded in space-time, breaking the plane.
Seven Views of Bear Peak is a group of medium-large watercolor paintings on paper. Bear Peak is a prominent mountain in nearby Boulder. I’m interested in how flat and complicated the mountain looks. The sense of a dramatic, near-vertical plane looming over town is an optical effect, for the mountain, like most mountains, has a great deal of dimension and depth in its various rocky outcrops and forested aspects. Long story short this all seems to scale well with my dabby watercolor mark-making. These paintings were made in three locations: from the front seat of a car on a gravel shoulder off South Cherryvale Road; from a gravel lot on the west side of CO-93 south of Eldorado Canyon, also in the front seat; and from a picnic table at Walker Ranch, facing back east.
I invite you to follow me on Instagram @chriskannen.
Thanks for visiting!
born 1977 in Cleveland, OH
based in Denver, CO
MFA, Hunter College, New York, NY, 2001
BFA, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 1999
Antarctic Artist and Writer Award, U.S. National Science Foundation, 2008
Artist In Residence, Samband Islenskra Myndlistarmanna, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2004
Graf Travel Grant, Hunter College Art Department, 2001
New Artwork from Antarctica, Studio D Gallery, University of Dayton, OH, 2008
After the Arctic, PH Gallery, New York, NY, 2005
Christopher Kannen, B. Deemer Gallery, Louisville, KY, 2000
Journeys: Travel Photography, Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR (juried by artist Ethan Jackson) (catalogue), 2013
screening, H20 Film on Water, Emory University Visual Arts Building, Atlanta, GA, 2012
H2O Film on Water, Newport Mill, Newport, NH (juried by Denise Markonish, curator, MassMOCA, North Adams, MA), 2012
Topos, Maynard Art Center, Maynard, MA, 2009
Sasquatch Society, Sixtyseven Gallery, New York, NY, 2005
Chris Kannen, Eric Torborg, PH Gallery, New York, NY, 2004
Sojourn, PH Gallery, New York, NY, 2003
Carefully Drawn, Storefront 1838, New York, NY, 2002
Alumni Exhibition, Rike Center Gallery, Dayton, OH, 2001
Art Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 2013
Art and Environment program, School of Art and Design, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 2012
Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA, 2009
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 2009
Department of Visual Arts, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 2008
public interview, “Where Have You Been? with Jeff Stark,” Bluestockings Books, New York, NY, 2008
artist talk, Robert Gober studio, New York, NY, 2008
artist talk, Design Trust for Public Space, New York, NY, 2008
artist talk, Sunday Science Lecture Series, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 2008
PUBLICATIONS AS AUTHOR
“Whatever Moves or Makes Noise,” ARID Journal, Spring/Summer 2013, Volume 2, Issue 1.
Artist Blog, “Parhelion Pemmican Pack Ice Pancake”, December 19, 2007—April 1, 2009.
Alan Taylor, “Recent Scenes from Antarctica”, In Focus, The Atlantic, March 4, 2011.
Ransom Riggs, “Vacation to Mars: Antarctica’s Dry Valleys”, mental_floss, February 3, 2010.
James Wagner, “Sasquatch Society at Sixtyseven,” jameswagner.com, August 28, 2005, 7:05 PM.
Ken Johnson, “Art Guide,” The New York Times, September 12, 19, 2003.