Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present Paul Kremer / UV, an exhibition of recent paintings and works on paper by American artist, Paul Kremer. This show marks Kremer’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The show will be on view from September 9 through October 9, 2021. The gallery will host a reception for the artist on Thursday, September 9, from 5:00 to 7:00pm.
Kremer, best known for his abstract paintings of simplified forms in bold yet minimalistic colors, frequently paints hard edge shapes with precise lines and angles. In his newest body of work, the artist has focused on decidedly more organic shapes, those reminiscent of blooming flowers and animals in motion, objects that evoke pleasure and contentment in the artist. UV, at its heart, is Kremer’s exploration of hopefulness and ebullience through color and shape during a time in the world when everything can feel difficult and complex. While discussing this new work, the artist shared, “I want to make paintings that make me feel better. When I stand in front of them, I want to feel for a moment that life is less stressful, less chaotic. I want to stir curiosity by the simplest means and add some positivity while I’m alive.” Kremer’s playfully refined works challenge viewers to see delight and expansive movement through autonomous forms and color.
Kremer explores this sentiment of positivity through a process that bridges digital experimentation and physical materiality. In this most recent body of work, he began by creating hundreds of drawings, settling on forms that evoke feelings of harmony and curiosity within him. After refining his shapes, Kremer tests varying color combinations until he finds engaging connections that aesthetically balance. Finally, Kremer renders his shapes onto the physical canvas giving them physical expression.
The shapes that Kremer captures on his canvases in UV are not abstractions in the classical, deductive sense, but are expansive in their scope. In titling the works, the artist chose words that double as verbs and nouns, allowing his shapes to simultaneously be in perpetual motion and representatives of entities or acts. For example, in Drift, the brisk, windy movement, captured in a chilled white against cobalt blue, appears to be sweeping by on the canvas, while its momentum also resembles a lone brushed hilltop freshly laid with snow. Similarly, the lofty winged movement in Flight suggests a soaring bird traveling through the sky, and visually describes a suspended mid-air journey with the mirrored forms of vermillion and Prussian blue. Kremer plays with verbs and nouns to unite movement and definition and widen the perception of meaning to form.
In addition to Kremer’s vibrant and bold paintings, consisting of uniquely mixed color creations, UV debuts the artist’s “ghost works.” The gray curving lines that circulate these softer pieces suggest the outline of a colored work yet further single out an ascribed movement. Where Dock in its colored form might suggest the mooring of two complementary colors, Dock (Ghost) accentuates an anchorage of two shapes becoming one.
Throughout this new body of work, titled UV, Kremer observed that he had repeatedly captured shapes that resemble the letters U and V. These forms frequently appear in nature and throughout our lives, from the curve of a bird’s wings while in flight to the crook of a tree limb branching from its trunk, these contouring expressions beam with life. Kremer adds, “If we stand with our legs and arms outstretched, we become these forms.”
A self-taught artist, Paul Kremer was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1971, and lives and works in Houston, Texas. Before becoming a full-time artist, he owned a graphic design studio for twenty years, where he worked with such clients as Lou Reed, Tom Waits, MTV, PBS, and National Geographic. He was also a founding member of the art collective I Love You Baby, active from 1998 to 2008. Recent solo exhibitions include Windows at Louis/Buhl & Co., Detroit; Hovering at Maruani Mercier, Knokke, Belgium; Layer Hooks at Alexander Berggruen Gallery, New York.
Paul Kremer / UV, September 9 – October 9, 2021. On view at 10 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Images and previews are available upon request. For all inquiries, please contact the gallery by phone (415) 781-4629 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.