Like the Abstract Expressionists, I engage with the history of figurative and abstract art and constantly push the limits of figuration. I explore overlapping images in airbrush or stencil, with gestural effects laid on top of a drawing or a cartoon image. I attempt to separate the image from the process to create a more complex and visually exciting body of work as well as a personal mythos. The struggle is to find meaning in the imagery and to determine how that meaning impacts the viewer.
Women are my primary subjects—be they androgynous, iconic or mythological goddesses, cartoon-like characters, or abstracted forms. Exaggerated mannerisms, hand gestures, and different points of view are part of my abstracted figuration. I use gestural, painterly expressionism in a non-ironic way.
My unique drawing style, combined with cartoonish abstract figuration, is a contribution to contemporary figuration. There is an authenticity to my struggle to dig deep to arrive at the final painting—in other words, the journey is important, not the preconceived image.
Color, as emotive content, is an important aspect of my work. I like to explore the tactile and physical nature of the possibilities of paint and at times use unconventional methods to arrive at the final image.
Yale University School of Art, majored in painting, MFA awarded in May 1990. Graduated with the Old Holland Classic Oil Color Prize.
Carnegie‑Mellon University College of Fine Arts, obtained BFA degree in 1988. Given the 1986 Douglas H. Wilson Award for excellence in painting and drawing by the faculty of the Carnegie-Mellon University College of Fine Arts.
Yale University Ellen Bartell Stoekel Program in Art, Norfolk, CT, recipient of full fellowship.
Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC
Group Show, Hellgate Arts, Bronx, New York
Group Show, Vermont College of Art, Mont Pellier, Vermont
Group Show, White Porch Gallery, Miami, Florida
Virtual Reality Art, n:Digital Series, Nielsen, NY
Artist in Residence, Halka Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
Group Drawing Show, Mayson Gallery, New York
Second Story Art Gallery, Highland, New Jersey
Group Show, Inside Out Museum, Beijing, China
Group Show, Brooklyn Fire Proof East, Bushwick, New York
Curated Group Show, Westbeth Gallery, New York
Group Show, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
One Person Show, Westbeth Gallery, New York
Group Show, Gallery Korea, New York
Curated Group Show, Creative Pier Gallery, New York
Drawing Show, 126 Rivington, New York
Three Person Show, Le Roy Nieman Center, Columbia University
One Person Show, Glorious Food Loft, New York
One Person Show, Adair Margo Gallery, El Paso, TX
One Person Show, RoGallery, Long Island City, New York
One Person Show, WAX Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Artist In Residence, Open Real Fundamental, St. Lorenzen‑bei Scheifling, Austria
Group Painting Show, American University, Washington, DC
One Person Show, George Billis Gallery, New York
One Person Show, “Body of Artifice”, George Billis Gallery, New York
Group Show, Four Walls, Brooklyn, NY
Group Painting Show, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY
Group Show, Basilico Fine Arts, New York
Kate Spade, New York
MTV corporate headquarters, New York
Belsito and Company, New York
Jean‑Claude Nédélec, co‑owner, Glorious Food, New York
Sean Driscoll, co‑owner, Glorious Food, New York
Greg Kessler has been a Teaching Artist at Vermont College of Fine Arts and an Adjunct Professor of Printmaking at Columbia University. He has also taught at the City University of New York and has been a visiting lecturer at New York Academy of Art, New York University, Massachusetts College of Art, and Concordia University in Montréal.
Greg Kessler Paintings