Chris Kannen is an artist based in Denver, Colorado. His work focuses mostly on landscape and observation. He has made work about Iceland, Antarctica, and more recently, the western U.S. Chris has participated in a few artist in residence programs, notably an Antarctic Artist and Writer Award from the National Science Foundation, where he was afforded two months in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. This residency resulted in paintings and a forthcoming photobook to be published Summer 2018. A second artist book of watercolor paintings made from observation around the Colorado Front Range will also be available later this year.
This site is updated with recent work a few times a year. Here are a few words about the current work:
What Came First is a collection of six acrylic and oil paintings on canvas that depart in various directions from the observation of an egg on a granite counter. This simple arrangement of commonplace objects struck a profound note. Getting around the eggy pun, what really did come first? We will never know completely. The basic elements we understand: the sun; the rock that is our home and evolutionary egg floating in "space;" moisture building and proteins folding and beings emerging, etched in the rocks, embedded in spacetime. That's a lot to suggest in six little paintings but this general line of thinking is what they are made of.
Six Views of Bear Peak is an ongoing series of large watercolor paintings on paper. These in particular were painted from observation in three locations: facing west toward the mountain, from the front seat of a car on a gravel shoulder off South Cherryvale Road outside Boulder; from a second gravel shoulder on the northbound side of CO-93 south of Eldorado Canyon (you can't miss it, it's huge); and from a picnic table at Walker Ranch, facing back east. Future paintings in this series may include southern and northern views of Bear Peak and some other local mountains.
For a larger archive of work, please get in touch through the form below.
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.