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Lisa M Kellner
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Red Hook


Rooted in the language of decay, erosion and disease, my work merges intricate microcosms with immense topographies. Using systems of patterning, layering and translucency, I create a world of imposing forms. I approach these shapes by working both sculpturally and in a two dimensional format. My interest lies in the interaction of these abstracted shapes with each other as well as the architecture of the space in which they exist. In all of my work there is an awareness of location, whether a centimeter wide area on the body or an aerial view of earth, that facilitates the exploration of place and its emotive aspects. The awareness of place and the emotions and memories invoked there continues to be a primary interest. Ultimately, these visual topographies become my mechanism for uncovering the basic elements of identity in a world characterized by façade.

Sculpture made from Silk:

Silk is the perfect medium in that it performs similar to a layer of epidermis. It is translucent, yet deceptively strong, maintaining the shape of organ-like forms and cellular structures. Each bulbous shape is hand formed, emulating cell systems gone awry. Because the original objects are removed, a sculptured contour drawing takes shape in three dimensional space. The result is a bodily landscape generated from the microscopic. These works are not dyed. Rather, they go through a lengthy process in which pigment, ink, acrylic, bleach and compost are applied until the intended painterly effect is achieved. Drawing from the Japanese technique, Shibori, these pieces are pulled and distorted to capacity. It is the dichotomy between the beautiful and horrific that I seek to capture in these sculptural works.


These works address the logistics of place and examine the moment when opposing forms converge. The continual modification of the American landscape embodies the aesthetics of Land Art. Drawing from precise points on the earth, these paintings speak to the physical and emotional characteristics of a place in transformation. In these works, I explore how forms abstracted from nature interact with shapes configured by man. These interactions occur all the time: in the mold growing on subway tiles or subdivisions carved out of existing woodlands and farms. To make these works, puddles of raw pigments are integrated with enamel and acrylic paint, merging an unruly painting process with a controlled one. Through this process a continually shifting relationship between dominance and coexistence permeates the canvas.


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Selected Exhibitions

Bellevue Art Museum, curated group show including large scale installation, Seatlle, WA

Art on Paper 2010, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
Unraveling Tradition, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM
Let There Be White, Birey Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Emergence, curated by Brook Hine, Bahdeebahdu, Philadelphia, PA
Drawn To It: The Art of Drawing, Amherst Street Gallery, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH

Suspended Presence, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI (solo)
Phantasma, Tarryn Teresa Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Surfacing Beneath, Brooklyn Arts Council Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (solo)
The Mansion Project, Paul Robeson Gallery, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ (catalogue)
A Proposition Ate My Marriage, LMCC Swing Space Residency Open House, New York, NY (solo installation)
The Body Politic, Brooklyn Arts Collective, The Jungle, Brooklyn, NY
Clamoring to Become Visible, Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn NY
Fluid Identity, Howard County Center for the Arts, Ellicott City, MD
Postcards from the Edge, Visual Aids at Metro Pictures, New York, NY

Inner Urban Sanctum, Providence Art Windows, Providence, RI (solo)
Square Foot Show: Election ‘08, Art Gotham, New York, NY
Material Meditation, New Art Center, Newton, MA (catalogue)
Boston Young Contemporaries, 808 Gallery, Boston, MA
MFA Thesis Exhibition, AIB Gallery, Boston, MA (catalogue)
Here and Now, Transformer Gallery, Washington, DC
Exintrinsic, Gallery 5, Richmond, VA
Contemporary Fiber, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
Beneath The Skin, Mock Magazine Covers, Perfect 8 Magazine, Chashama, New York, NY
I Dream of Genomes, Islip Art Museum, Islip, New York
Black and White, (solo)

9 x 10, WWP Gallery, Washington, DC
Art on the Gwynns Falls Trail 2007, Leakin Park, Baltimore, MD
Strictly Painting, McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA
Radius 250, Artspace, Richmond, VA
Saturated, Heinemann Myers Gallery, Bethesda, MD
WPA\Corcoran Centerpiece Project, Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, DC

Plain Matters, Quirk Gallery, Richmond, VA (solo)
Open Call/Size Matters, RHYS Gallery, Boston, MA
Conversions, WPA/Corcoron at The Ellipse Arts Center, Arlington, VA
for a(n) relation(s), ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA
Spring Fieldwork, Gallery 5, Richmond, VA
Paper Trail, Gallery 6, Rockaway Beach, NY
The Unlikely Target, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC

Selected Bibliography

Molly Kimelman, Weighty topics, The Grand Rapids Press, December 17, 2009.
Catherine Bui, Interviews: Lisa Kellner, Title Magazine, Issue No. 4.
Anonda Bell, Forward and Artist Essay for Catalogue; Decadence and Decay: The Manison Project, Sept. 2009.
Mike Giuliano, Five local artists conspire to reveal ‘Identity’, Howard County Times, Feb. 12.
Esther Kim, Q & A with Artist Lisa Kellner, Maryland Art Place On-line Newsletter, winter.
Kriston Capps, Reviews: Washington, DC ‘Here and Now’, Transformer Gallery, Sculpture Magazine, January/February.

Ceci Mendez, forward for catalogue: Material Meditation, New Art Center.
Chris Bergeron, Living in a ‘Material’ whirl – Six artists ‘Meditate’ on everyday stuff, The Metrowest Daily News, October 5.
Denise Taylor, Exploring The Material World, Boston Globe West, September 18.
Bob Thayer, Not Just Another Dive, The Providence Journal, September 16.
Hope Stockman, Current Galleries; Material Meditation, ArtScope, Sept/Oct ed.
Judith Barry, Director, Forward for catalogue, MFA in Visual Arts Graduate Exhibition Catalogue, Art Institute of Boston.
Michael Newman, Thesis Advisor, MFA in Visual Arts Graduate Exhibition Catalogue, Art Institute of Boston.
Maura Judkis, “Closed Call: Transformer wanted to comment on urban change. It came sooner than expected, Washington City Paper, May 20.
Benjamin Genocchio, Looking into the World of Genomes and Seeing an Unreliable Future, The New York Times, March 2.
Jennifer Landis, Opinion: I Dream of Genomes, The East Hampton Star, March 26.

Selected Awards / Residencies

2010 BRIC Media Art Fellowship, BRIC Arts, Brooklyn, NY
2009 Swing Space Residency, Lower Manhattan Cultural council, New York, NY
Finalist, RGASA Exhibition, NY Studio Gallery, New York, NY
Semi-Finalist, Trawick Prize, Bethesda, MD
2007 Semi-Finalist, Trawick Prize, Bethesda, MD
2005 First Place, All Media Show, Artworks, Richmond, VA
2004 Honorable Mention, All Media Show, Artworks, Richmond, VA
School of Visual Arts Studio Residency Program, New York, NY

Projects / Commissions

At Summer’s Full, commissioned for 184 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
A Proposition Ate My Marriage, installation completed during LMCC Swing Space Residency
Embroidered Edifice, ongoing project
Founding Member of G.O.A.T. (Group of Artists Talking), a collaborative group of artists.
Mock magazine ads, Perfect 8 Magazine.
Adrian Piper, Everything #10 , Public Art Performance, Creative Time, New York, NY.
I was a participant. My journal has been archived on the Creative Time web site. A publication regarding this performance has been produced by Creative Time.
Two Thousand and Counting Essay, Daily Constitutional Magazine, Issue #2

2008 MFA, Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA
2004 Concentration in Painting and Drawing, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1987 BA, Boston University, Boston, MA

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Brooklyn, NY 11217


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