The work of Michigan based painter, Jeffrey Kraus, is characterized by loose, aggressive gestures and messy layers of swaths of color and anxious, minimal shapes that often resemble unspecific architectural surfaces and landscapes. Kraus’ paintings are the result of a performative process, a full embrace of chance towards a continually evolving series of experimentations into abstraction and the formalities of painting. Employing objects used to support, protect, contour, and transport artworks, for this new series, Kraus works with plastic paint tarp, manipulating its translucency and malleable properties to build dense illusions of space. The uniform monochrome pallet combined with futuristic silver accents allude to aerial views of cityscapes and eroded concrete spaces void of place and time.
Kraus works in the abstract to rid himself of conventional symbols and iconography in order to communicate with his audience directly. Instead of attempting to cryptically inform the viewer of a specific message, the work is meant to be experienced. A single painting can manipulate the ambiance of an entire room, permeating the air with its tone. From afar, each painting is a fog of color, haunting and absorbing; however, upon closer inspection, Kraus' meticulous attention to detail may be observed. Tiny drawings are either painted onto the forefront or scratched into the surface, cutting through layers of paint and exposing the remnants of old colors, worn and hidden away. Kraus' works are meant to be lived in, to be explored and navigated. They are surreal, emotional maps recording fear, excitement, loneliness and contentment. Inside, one may discover portions of a small world where something new may be found with every viewing.
(b. 1985 Kalamazoo, MI) Lives and works in New York, NY
2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Printmaking, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
2014, Reekruffs, Rowster, Grand Rapids, MI 2014, EID MAR, MadCap, Grand Rapids, MI 2013, 95 Feet Deep, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Saugatuck, MI 2013, Conditions , Gaspard Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI 2012, Sink to the beat, Sparrows Coffee and Tea Newsstand, Grand Rapids, MI
2012, A better taste of New Work, MadCap Coffee, Grand Rapids,MI
2012, Taste of New Work, MadCap Coffee, Grand Rapids,MI 2011, Maybe next time I’ll get it right, Hoi Polloi Grand Rapids, MI 2011, The tempo of life dictated by a heavy workflow, Padnos Gallery, Allendale,MI
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017, Millenial Pink, Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI
2017, The Jump Off, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
2016, A theory on Contemplation, Prjct Omni Exhibit #2, Traverse City, MI 2016, Wielding Now, Tappan Collective, Culver City, CA 2016, Seriality in the Archive, Have Company, Grand Rapids, MI 2014, The Steezledorf, Rox Gallery, New York City, NY 2014, Free , Gaspard Gallery , Grand Rapids , MI 2014, Rituals ,Gold Pane Gallery, Chicago, IL 2013, Fall Group Exhibition, Gaspard Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI 2012, Field Studies, Culture Works, Holland,MI 2012, Group Show, Lafontsee Gallery, Douglas,MI 2011, 100 Grand Show, Nice Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI 2011, DIG, DIG, DIG, Site Lab: Blandford Nature Center, Grand Rapids, MI 2011, Landed (15 views of the landscape), Padnos Gallery, Allendale, MI 2010, Art workers wont kiss ass (S.E.A.S), Free Radical Gallery Event, Grand Rapids, MI 2010, 3rd annual 50x50, Mexican Sans Frontiers, Grand Rapids, MI 2010, Eating the Art, Padnos Gallery, Allendale, MI 2009, 2nd annual 50x50 , Mexican Sans Frontiers, Grand Rapids, MI 2009, Critorama, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI 2009, Collaborations, Padnos Gallery, Allendale, MI 2008, Parallel Spaces, 62. / 64. S. Division, Grand Rapids, MI
Mutant Space / Jeff Kraus Paintings Are Wonderfully Frenetic