Capturing space with Lisa Kellner

In my work, I am trying to capture the intangible, lyrical quality of space. I am interested in how space is inhabited and what occurs when place is infused by history and memory. My work combines random patterns found in nature with the human inclination for order and symmetry. By merging these disparate components, my challenge is to distill experiential space to its very essence, and discover the unspoken place. In 2006, I was exploring materiality and bodily form using porcelain and latex. Though I relished the tactile qualities of porcelain, I longed for a more ethereal and layered approach to my work. Silk resonated on many levels as a material that I could experiment with spatially and utilize symbolically as a façade-like structure. ~Lisa KellnerLisaKellner_01In order to make paintings that are hung on the wall, I stretch silk organza over frames I have specifically designed. Silk as a painting surface allows me to incorporate translucency and cast shadows into the work; thereby creating a painting with multiple dimensions. Shapes are sketched and then stitched into the silk, paying particular attention to the spaces between the forms. While these shapes occupy the surface they also cast shadows upon the painting in which they exist. These shadows become an integral part of the work. Stitching through the silk results in a delicate line drawing made of thread. Loose ends of the threads take occupancy in a region of the painting not normally visible. Behind this, an assortment of geometric wood structures I have cut and painted are installed. The amalgamation of shapes, colors and materials permit the viewer to explore the spatial concerns within each painting. LisaKellner_02A room-sized Painting in Space uses the room and its accoutrements as the canvas. The work is intended to be immersive, inviting the viewer to experience the intimacy of being absorbed, literally, within a room-sized painting. Silk as a painting material holds shape and color, yet remains translucent. It invokes an ethereal quality that allows for a visible layering of “paint” and shadows upon my room “canvas”. I juxtapose solid materials, (wood, lighting, metals, plastics) against these softer shapes. Repetition of forms, contrasting material elements and a painterly decision process unite into a singular Painting in Space. LisaKellner_03Whether making room-sized environments or paintings for the wall, my primary concern is how to employ the qualities of space in the painting process. I merge invented shapes with those I discover in the world, in order to form new relationships on my “canvas”. Layers of color are worked and reworked until the parts of the painting begin to coalesce. Each room-sized work informs the wall works and vice versa, allowing elements of one to bleed into the other. Always, my intention is to expand the language of painting and how each work is experienced.   LisaKellner_04 LisaKellner_07 LisaKellner_08 LisaKellner_10LisaKellner_09