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Kevin Muente: Promised Land
March 14 - April 13, 2024

Opening

6-9 pm, Thursday, March 14

Artist Talk
1-2 pm, Saturday, March 23

Closing
1-4 pm, Saturday, April 13

About the Artist

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Kevin Muente received his BFA in drawing and painting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1994 and his MFA in painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1999. He has exhibited his paintings internationally and has garnered several awards and honors including the Kentucky Arts Council’s Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship, Cincinnati Summerfair Aid to Individual Artist Grants, and multiple artist residencies. He currently holds the rank of full professor of art at Northern Kentucky University.

Artist Statement

The stories I tell speak to the soul. We may not know who these characters are, but we still connect to their problems, and desires. We empathize with them. Their world helps us to examine our world. Expressions, gestures, and narratives frozen on the canvas heighten the suspense and are never fully resolved. The landscape and its eternal presence surrounds the figures and offers a freshness lacking from much narrative art. Like a film director, I scope out environments that will heighten the drama of the characters involved, giving my paintings an almost cinematic quality. On occasion, animals play a vital role in man's attachment to nature and act in a supporting role to complicate the narrative. My obsession with particular elements of the landscape, such as leaves, branches, ripples, and stones, helps communicate the magical unbelievability of a place both figuratively and metaphorically. By paying attention to the noises, smells, and changes in light and temperature my paintings reaffirm a sense of place for the viewer. I work from life, from photographs and from invention to hopefully awaken the viewer’s soul. I paint with oils, and channel the drama of artists from the past who have heroized the figure, such as Jean-Francois Millet, Caspar David Friedrich, and Winslow Homer. Figures within a pivotal situation secure a sense of the grand mythic qualities that nature rarely reveals but are relevant to us all. In this way, landscape becomes a vehicle for expressing the human condition sometimes as much as the figures themselves.

Press Release

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Studio Kroner Unveils "Another Ukraine": A Profound Exploration of Inner Realities Amidst War by Kharkiv Photography School Artists

Studio Kroner is proud to announce the unveiling of its latest exhibition, "Another Ukraine," featuring the compelling works of Ukrainian artists from the esteemed Kharkiv Photography School. Set against the backdrop of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict, the exhibition delves into the intricate exploration of the artists' inner worlds amid the upheaval of war. The showcase goes beyond the current military turmoil, offering a unique perspective on the psychological facets of contemporary Ukrainian reality. "Another Ukraine" serves as an initiative to provide financial support to the talented creatives and their families residing in the front-line city of Kharkiv during these challenging times. It focuses on conceptual creativity directed inward, exploring the artists' intimate observations within the barely stable visual space. Curated by Guennadi Maslov (USA), the exhibition showcases the works of photographers hailing from the renowned Kharkiv Photography School. Originating in Soviet times as a counterbalance to official propaganda, the school has evolved into a powerful medium for visual self-expression in contemporary Eastern Europe.  "Studio Kroner eagerly anticipates inaugurating the 2024 season with this significant and timely exhibition," remarks owner Paul Kroner. "This show serves as a poignant expression, utilizing art as a means to delve into the emotional and psychological repercussions stemming from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine." The Kharkiv Photography School has gained international acclaim for its celebration of various manifestations of reality – from seemingly realistic depictions to pure artistic fantasy. Epithets such as "harsh," "incongruous," "uncompromising," "acute," and even "humorous" have been applied to the school by diverse critics. While not a formal organization, the School has been extensively covered in online publications and art criticism books. Three years ago, the Museum of Kharkiv School of Photography (MOKSOP) opened its doors to visitors and researchers, further solidifying the school's impact on the art world. "Another Ukraine" promises to be an enlightening and evocative exhibition, challenging conventional narratives and providing a profound glimpse into the artistic resilience thriving amidst challenging circumstances.

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