Thursday, January 21, 2010

Visiting Artist #1: Kurt Kauper

For the past two days, Kurt Kauper has been visiting American University. Being the first visiting artist for spring 2010, Kauper started our semester with inspiration and insight.

With back to back critiques and an artist talk on Tuesday night (January 19th), a few cups of coffee were definitely needed. I believe, and if I may speak for my fellow MFA students, that his visit was a success. The crits have been well received and many of us are left with new ideas and a long list of artists to look up.

Not only were the critiques helpful, his artist talk was engaging and informing. Presenting and answering questions for a little over an hour, Kauper discussed influences, ideas, and process. He led us through his bodies of work starting with an Ingres study, done after high school, to his famous figures of present day. His works are impressively rendered and dialogue with the accuracy of modern day computer graphics. Attention is paid to every hair and birthmark seen on his subjects. The pieces invite the viewer to stand in awe of his technique and in question of the environments in which he places his figures and the choice of clothing or lack thereof. Kauper is famously known for his Diva Series, but has also painted the notorious faces of Carey Grant, Bobby Orr, and Barack and Michelle Obama.

Kauper’s works, bio, and contact can be viewed at


Check back for updates on our future visiting artists.

Spring Schedule: (all talks will be at the Katzen Art Center, AU)

  • February 8th: Julie Langsam: 6p in Crit Space
  • February 16th: Beverly McIver: 6p in Recital Hall
  • March 4th: Hilary Harkness: 6p in Crit Space
  • April 1st: Erik Thor Sandberg: 6p in Recital Hall

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