By Paul Zimmerman
Kathleen Kilchenmann’s artistic endeavors delve into the captivating realm where time, materials, and nature converge to narrate profound stories. Kilchenmann’s unique approach breathes life into seemingly ephemeral elements, infusing them with new meaning within the canvas of her large and small format images. What stands out prominently in Kilchenmann’s work is her fascination with materials undergoing transformation. Birch bark collected from the forest, rust fragments in various stages, weathered packaging with a patina, and corrugated cardboard fragments all become vessels of memory. Kilchenmann treats these materials with profound respect, evident in the collage technique that dominates her compositions.
Chance plays a pivotal role in Kilchenmann’s artistic process. The idiosyncratic shapes, plasticity, and coloring of found objects become the foundation for her compositions. Layer by layer, she builds intricate structures using sand, earth, acrylic paint, newspaper cuttings, ink shapes, and more. The resulting images are a rich tapestry of textures and colors, with translucent and lively acrylic paint layers often revealing glimpses of underlying narratives.
The artist’s meticulous process involves a harmonious interplay of painting and drawing, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two mediums. Kilchenmann’s works evolve over days and weeks, sometimes standing for half a year before undergoing further transformations. The rejection of initial works becomes a catalyst for new ideas, and the parallel creation of multiple pieces allows for a dynamic interplay of influences and colors.
In Kilchenmann’s art, materials, shapes, and traces on the canvas convey a profound message of becoming and the transience of life in nature. The mystery of this theme becomes both a challenge and an incentive for the artist. She intricately weaves these elements into compositions that resonate with the essence of existence.
The artist’s mixed media works offer viewers a unique glimpse into her artistic philosophy, rooted in a Heideggerian impulse to unveil the world. Through intuitive knowledge, she crafts a poetic integrity within her work, creating a space where nature and time coalesce. Each piece carries a sense of rightness and embodies perceptions of nature and time, transcending the boundaries of art to become a visceral experience for the viewer. In this symphony of time and nature, Kathleen Kilchenmann invites us to witness the profound beauty of existence through her art.