Artetude Gallery is pleased to exhibit, “Circles and Cycles: Year 13”, a dynamic new body of work by renowned Asheville artist Kenn Kotara. “Circles and Cycles” will be on display at Artetude in downtown Asheville, beginning November 12 through January 7th, 2013, with an opening reception to take place on Friday, November 15, 2013 from 6-8 pm. “Circles and Cycles: Year 13”, continues an ongoing collection of works, as Kenn Kotara related which “address the complex and symbiotic relationships between nature and human nature”.
Kotara expresses the contingent or mutualistic symbiosis between nature and man so vividly. Through his work, one can see the linear patterns expressed in both the circle and grid configurations. The configurations are evident throughout his varied mediums. These patterns often mimic the interactional relationships shared by man and nature. He explains that within his latest body of work, “the creation of abstract art forms, in that I am both initiating and responding to various catalysts. These catalysts range from diverse, daily contemporary issues that humanity must deal with to the one, hand to the past romantic notions of nature on the other”.
Kotara is a native of Southern Louisiana with its rivers, marshlands and lush vegetation. Amongst the verdant natural environ of Southern Louisiana lives the iconic Spanish moss or Barbe espagnole. Barbe espagnole occurs as a common theme within Kotara’s “Circle & Cycles” series. Kotara explains that while “exploring the metaphorical mysteries of the Louisiana bayou, the imagery owes equal amounts to natural and abstract systems”. The abstract system for Kotara connects to an iconography, available only in specific geographical regions like his native Louisiana. He explained
that his two-dimensional works on canvas and paper, evolved into three-dimensional suspended screen structures moves his work one step closer to the natural source. Kotara relates that his “screen structures behave in much the same way – hanging, flowing, constantly in motion, however subtle. Activated by the invisible energies within an exhibition space – people moving about and air being manipulated by handling systems – these suspended screen structures respond as Barbe espagnole in nature, rarely in full repose.”
There is an openness to his suspended screen structures though he notes, “that the interference of the grid overlays obscures slightly, much as a veil blocks the perfect view. This is an entirely appropriate allegory, I think, to the notion of sensitive dependence within chaos theory – where very small, simple systems can cause other, more complex events.”
Kotara’s visual expression and artistic talent emerged in very early childhood. In grade school, he found inspiration from the stories and paintings by John James Audubon. Recognizing this innate talent for creating, his father, an engineer, encouraged him to put his talent to practical use. After studying architecture at Louisiana Tech University, Kotara took an academic hiatus to explore the world outside of school. For the next six years he took various labor-intensive jobs in the oil and construction industry. During this time, he began to draw detailed, exacting pen and ink drawings and found a deep satisfaction in illustrating. This re-emerging interest guided him back to Louisiana Tech at the age of 28 to earn a BFA in Graphic Design and later an MFA in Studio Art.
The narrative of his work continues to evolve, the shapes, patterns and colors in Kotara’s works offer a universal appeal and communicate through the abstraction in a language unique to each viewer of his work. For this reason, his work may be found in diverse venues, in numerous exhibitions, corporate, public and private collections throughout the world.
Full of subtle energy and life, his abstractions are profoundly contemplative and reflect Kotara’s own journey of his “inner world” observing, understanding and responding to the world around him. He invites viewers of his work to share that journey with him.