The work of American painter, Jeff Kraus, is characterized by loose, aggressive gestures and messy layers of swaths of color and anxious, minimal shapes, often resembling 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.
Kraus’ current work draws from gestures found in urban landscapes: of neon orange spray paint glyphs marking the location of sewer pipes and wires and the flat mat finish of house paint, for example, as well as the utilitarian tools and objects found in the painter’s studio. Blurring boundaries between the 2-dimensional and the sculptural, Kraus’ new works reflect a distinct self-awareness.
Kraus focuses not on the illusionary potential achieved by the application of paint to a surface, but rather on the synthesis of the painting as object, the painter as performer, and the painter’s studio as installation. Drawing attention to the matter-of-factness of the wooden support structure of the traditional stretched canvas and materials such as plastic drop cloth and bubble wrap that are employed to support, protect, contour, and transport works of art.
” Art is an attachment to experience. “
Text of Julia Victor and photographs courtesy of the artist.