Bio-Dynamic, a solo exhibition of paintings by Chris Kahler, is potent and colorful; more cellular and molecular than astral. However, Kahler blurs the boundaries and moves between micro and macro, leaving the viewer wondering if this work is portraying the beginning or end with the themes of transformation, mutation and system conflict.
The paintings are constructed of many layers: thick, gestural and three dimensional in some areas and translucent in others. Kahler carefully excavates the multi-layered surfaces to reveal colors, biomorphic forms and hints of architecture, but provides no definitive images or intact structures. Collectively, a narrative emerges from this work that is reminiscent of a journey, evoking both topographical and deep space imagery within the same painting. Clearly influenced by high-tech and the digital age, Kahler uniquely blends elements of abstract expressionism, color field, psychedelia, op and pop art to create provocative canvases that generate intrigue and an array of interpretations.
Kahler received his BFA at Ohio Wesleyan University, an MA at Eastern Illinois University and MFA from Northwestern University in 1995 where he studied with Ed Paschke, James Valerio and William Conger. He has been teaching at Eastern Illinois University since 1999, where he is a full Professor, Graduate Coordinator and head of the Painting area.
Since 2002, Kahler has had six solo exhibitions in Chicago and St Louis and numerous thematic exhibitions throughout the country. Recent catalogue essays include: James Yood for Hybrid Dynamic and Joe Houston for Viral. He has been awarded numerous honors including residencies at Painting’s Edge Residency in Idyllwild, CA and two Artist Grants for the Vermont Studio Center. His work has been reviewed and profiled in various art magazines and newspapers, the most recent in Art in America (Feb 2010). Kahler’s work can be found in various public and private collections including, the Daum Museum, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Bradley University and numerous private collections.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog with an essay by David Pagel.