Canada is pleased to present Objet Outta, a solo exhibition of paintings by Ken D. Resseger. In these works on panel, blobs of paint and passages of erasure suggest ground features woven with knots of beautyberry, crab cherry, sedge, brambles, and other wild delights. In others, he tips his perspective upward, creating vistas of turbulent skies framed by archways of trees or rock formations that invite the viewer to enter imaginary spaces of wildness and solitude.
Resseger starts by building numerous six by eight-inch wood panels that allow him to spread his energy over many paintings. He often works on several pieces simultaneously and sometimes over a period of several years, adjusting and repainting. The ongoing process becomes a call and response exchange between his experimental “automatic” approach and the attempts at creating a novel but grounded scene.
Erasure plays an important role in Resseger’s process, and the paintings often feature seemingly incomplete passages. Upon closer inspection, the blank spots reveal themselves to carry the residue of removal and redaction. The open areas imply, without detail or brush strokes, streams, paths, or chasms. Chinese handscroll paintings are a strong influence, with their purposeful passages of emptiness, which imply atmosphere and volumes that must be activated by the viewer’s eye. In a strange hierarchical shift, voids become as important as areas that have been touched by the calligrapher’s brush. The lushness to the paintings and the seeming restraint deliver the strangeness of the world in ways that are open ended and freeing.
The paintings are reminiscent of the work of Ralph Blakelock, the nineteenth century artist associated with the tonalist movement, who, like his contemporary Albert Pinkham Ryder, treated the landscape as a cypher for spiritual transcendence. Both Blakelock and. Resseger share a palette that is informed by observed rather than expressive color, allowing for a moody atmosphere of repose and contemplation. Resseger finds ways to make the intimate spaces of his paintings feel big, huge even. Through what feels like single-hair brush strokes, the works replicate the familiar while conjuring a view of the natural world that teems with magical conjunctions.
Ken D. Resseger (b.1981, Providence, R.I.) lives and works in Providence. He holds a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in NY. Recent exhibitions include The Thick Stream, Canada, New York, Orwell’s Garden, High Desert, Brooklyn, NY, The Deep End, Canada, East Hampton, NY. Forthcoming exhibitions include Arcadia and Elsewhere, James Cohan, New York, NY.