Kurt kemp

Kurt Kemp earned his MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa in 1984 and went on to work as a studio assistant of the legendary Argentine artist Maurice Lasansky who was an important contributor to modern printmaking. Kemp, currently based in California, has shown his work throughout the country. In his work,Kemp reflects on family, religion, politics, and culture. Process and technique are integral to the artist’s practice as the use of multiple layers of paper and collage create a sense of memory interrupted by the tactile quality of the materials. Kemp approaches these charged issues with imagery that is surreal, twisted, confrontational and absurd keeping the distressing in check with humor and play.


Artist Statement

I believe that my ideas are a pebble in a pond, but no matter how personal, there are waves that reach others. Reflections on family, religion, politics, and culture are all vital sources in the making of my work. Through the use of drawing, collage, assemblage and printmaking, the images unfold.

The images portray experiences of struggle and fight-back but are kept in check by humor and absurdity. In both the drawings and the prints, the techniques are very important to the idea developed in the piece. Using multiple papers, smaller drawings and collage elements I hope to create a sense of memory that is interrupted by the tactile and visceral quality of the materials.

Printmaking has always been an important aspect of me as an artist. The development of the image over time and the variety of print technique and the extensive hand work all add to the psychology of the work.




1984 MFA Printmaking, University of Iowa (with honors)

1981 MFA Printmaking, University of Iowa

1979 BA cum laude, Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa  

Selected Solo Exhibitions

"Kurt Kemp, Recent Work", Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

"No Room to Breathe", Kurt Kemp and Chris Jehly, Lower Haters, San Francisco, CA

"Pin Up", Kurt Kemp and Mark Perlman Collaborations, Aurobora Gallery, CA

"Living Wall", Kurt Kemp and Mark Perlman, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, CA

“Kurt Kemp, Ten Year Survey “, Center for the Print Gallery, Columbia University, NY

“Dear Eliesa” Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

“Sad Circus (Where’s My Twenty?)”, Collaborative Print Exhibition with Mark Perlman, Aurobora Press, San Francisco, CA

Irony and Allegory, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TX

“Hen House Drawings,” Hooks-Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX

"Intuitive Response", Clark Hall Gallery, Southeastern Louisiana University, LA  

Selected Public Collections

Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Boston, MA

Laman Dodd Museum, G

Auburn University, AL

Clemson University, AL

Honolulu Fine Art Museum, HI

Bradley University, IL

Borg-Warner Corporation, Chicago, IL

Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL

Aucherbach Foundation, CA

Peoria Art Museum, IL

Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris

Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL

Palace of Legion of Honor, CA

Houston Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, AL

SUNY at Brockport Tower Fine Art Gallery, Brockport, NY

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL