About Karen Kitchel

Karen Kitchel's environmentally resonant works embody a deep and sustained effort to transform and transcend landscape painting. Unconventional combinations of image, material, and form conspire to energize and subvert this traditional practice.

The newest paintings are made of asphalt emulsion, tar, wax, shellac, and powdered mineral pigments on canvas and panel in a wide range of sizes.  Emerging themes include agriculture, the horizon, regional botany and compromised waterways. 

Signature works are oil on wood panel, focusing on native and invasive plants, the vernacular of American landscape.

Karen's paintings have been featured in exhibitions throughout the U.S., and are in numerous private and public collections, including the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Joslyn Art Museum, the Nicolaysen Art Museum, The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Tucson Museum of Art, the U.S. State Department, and many others.

Her work is represented by Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO and Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM and New York, NY.

Karen Kitchel lives and works in Ventura, CA.

 
 

KAREN KITCHEL

born  Battle Creek, Michigan
resides  Southern California 

Education

1982  M.F.A., Painting, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
1979  B.A., Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI

 

Selected Public and Corporate Collections

  • Basil H. Alkazzi Foundation, New York, NY and London, UK
  • Children’s Hospital, Denver, CO
  • Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
  • First Western Trust Bank, Denver, CO
  • Hilton Hotels, Inc., Las Vegas, NV
  • Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
  • Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY
  • Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
  • Pfizer Inc., New York, NY
  • Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA
  • Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts, Alta Loma, CA
  • Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
  • Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY
  • U.S. State Department
  • Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2016 - Artist’s Spotlight, Focus on the Masters, Ventura, CA
  • 2012 - Finalist, Federal Courthouse; General Services Administration, Billings, MT
  • 2011 - Nominee, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowships for Painters and Sculptors
  • 2011 - The LookOut residency, Chester, MT
  • 2006 - Ucross Foundation residency, Clearmont, WY
  • 2003 - Ucross Foundation residency, Clearmont, WY
  • 1999 - The Sheldon Bergh Award for Painters, Bazil H. Alkazzi Foundation, New York, NY
  • 1993 - Montana Arts Council, Individual Artist Fellowship
  • 1987–89 - California Arts Council, Artist-in-Residence Fellowship

 

Service

  • 2011 - Visual Arts Panelist, The Montana Arts Council, Artist Innovation Awards
  • 2011 - Visual Arts Panelist, The Idaho State Arts Council, Individual Artist Fellowships
  • 2010 - Visual Arts Panelist, The Nevada State Arts Council, Individual Artist Fellowships
  • 2004–11 - Visual Arts Panelist, The Ucross Foundation (Wyoming), Artist Residency Fellowships
  • 2000–12 - Advisory Board, Camp Sturtevant, Big Santa Anita Canyon, San Gabriel Mountains
 

Exhibitions

2018

The Color of Drought, solo exhibit, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2017
Painted Landscapes, group exhibit, Heritage Art Museum, Sandwich, MA (publication)
California Contemporary, group exhibit, State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA (publication)
Horizonlines, solo exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO

2016
Land/Sky, two-person exhibit, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
Karen Kitchel: Larger Than Life, featured artist, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2015
Palm Springs Art Fair, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe and New York
Subjective Truths, group exhibit, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA

2014
Southwest Anthems, group exhibit, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
Karen Kitchel: An Introduction, solo exhibit, Ventura City Hall, Ventura, CA

2013
Walking Through the Fire, solo exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO
Desert Grasslands, group exhibit, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ (publication)
Presence, Place, and Perspective, group exhibit, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2012
Contested Terrain: Painting the Modern Landscape, group exhibit, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
Eye Candy, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Beautiful Earth, group exhibit, Republic Plaza, Denver, CO

2011
Land Use/Misuse: Celebration and Exploitation of the American Landscape, group exhibit, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (publication)
Ucross: Twenty-seven Years of Visual Arts Residencies, group exhibit, The Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY (publication)

2010
Western Horizons: Landscape Paintings from the Contemporary Realism Collection, group exhibit, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Music in Art, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Artists Perspectives, group exhibit, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
A Taste of Reality, group exhibit, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
A Relative Condition: the Landscape Paintings of Karen Kitchel, Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY (publication available from museum or Amazon.com)
Seasonal Overture, solo exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO
Ucross: Twenty-seven Years of Visual Arts Residencies, Nicolaysen Art Museum,Casper,WY

2009
Between Grass and Sky; Rhythms of a Cowboy Poem, group exhibit, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
The Full Terrain, 2-person exhibit, The Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY (publication)
Seasonal Overture, solo exhibit, Autry National Center of the American West, Los Angeles, CA

2008
Place in Time: Contemporary Landscape
, group exhibit, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA (publication)

2007
An Eye for Detail, group exhibit, Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Modern and Contemporary Landscapes, group exhibit, Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
30 x 30; group exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO
Natural Order: Notes for an Opera, solo exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO
Landscapes of Colorado, group exhibit, Center for the Visual Arts, Denver, CO (publication)
Masterpieces of Colorado Landscape, group exhibit, Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO; traveled to: Center for Southwest Studies, Durango, CO; Fort Morgan Museum, Fort Morgan, CO; Freemont Center for the Arts, Canon City, CO; The Pomar Foundation, Colorado Springs, CO; Denver Public Library, Denver, CO (publication)

2006
Shifting Terrain, group exhibit, Oxford Hotel, Denver, CO
On the Wall: Drawing, group exhibit, Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA
The Best of the West, group exhibit, Palm Springs Art Museum
NYC Affordable Art Fair, DFN Gallery, New York, NY
Chicago Art Fair, Morgan Lehman Gallery, Lakeville, CT and New York, NY

2005
The Woods, group exhibit, DFN Gallery, New York, NY
Art in Embassies Exhibition Program, U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, Almaty, Kazakhstan
The Garden of Eden, U.S. Embassy, Yerevan, Armenia (“Train Track Walk”, acquisition)
Contemporary Landscape, group exhibit, Morgan Lehman Gallery, Lakeville, CT
New York Affordable Art Fair, Morgan Lehman Gallery, Lakeville, CT

2004
Regarding Water in the West, group exhibit, Texas Tech. U, Lubbock, TX (publication)
Political Landscape, group exhibit, L.A. Municipal Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Altered Eden, group exhibit, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro, VT
East Meets West, solo exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO
Repeat Offenders: Serial Works by Colorado Artists, group exhibit, Singer Gallery, Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, Denver, CO

2003
Women on Painting, group exhibit, Cornell DeWitt Gallery, New York, NY
Divining: Art and Water in the West, group exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO
North by Northwest, group exhibit, Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Great Falls, MT
Train Track Walk, solo exhibit, Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY (publication) 
I-25, group exhibit, Sangre de Cristo Art Center, Pueblo, CO

2002
Train Track Walk, solo exhibit, Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO (publication)
Success Stories: The Weed Show, solo exhibit, Cornell DeWitt Gallery, New York, NY

2001
Wide Open Spaces, group exhibit, Cornell DeWitt Gallery, New York, NY

2000
The American Landscape, solo exhibit, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA (publication)
The West: New Ways/Old Visions, group exhibit, Metro Center for the Visual Arts, Denver, CO
Memory and Change in the American West, group exhibit, Loveland Museum, Loveland, CO (publication)
Crowded Prairie, group exhibit, The Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY and the Nicolaysen Museum, Casper, WY (publication)

1999
The Sum of Parts: Composite Paintings, group exhibit, Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO
BroadCast, group exhibit, Eagle Rock Community Cultural Center, Eagle Rock, CA

1998
The Vault Series: Artists respond to Audubon, group exhibit, The New Bedford Museum, New Bedford, MA (publication)
Paradise Lost: Redefining the Colorado Landscape, group exhibit, Colorado Mountain College Gallery, Glenwood Springs, CO; traveled to: CU Boulder, Boulder, CO

1997
The Surreal West, group exhibit, Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO
Geography and Spirit; Nature's Imprint on the Soul, group exhibit & symposium, Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities, Sun Valley, ID (publication)
Home, Home on the Range, solo exhibit, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT
Holiday Exhibition of Gallery Artists, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1996
Montana Choice, group exhibit, Hockaday Center for the Arts, Kalispell, MT (publication)
Holiday Exhibition of Gallery Artists, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Winter Showcase, group exhibit, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT
Home, Home on the Range; not the same old song, solo exhibit, Western Heritage Center, Billings, MT
New Paintings, solo exhibit, Liberty Art Center, Chester, MT
Activities in the Landscape, solo exhibit, Blue Heron Art Center, Vashon Island, WA

1995
Holiday Exhibition of Gallery Artists, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Current Work, solo exhibit, Machine Head, Venice, CA
Gender and Geography: New Work by Montana Women Artists, group exhibit, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT (publication)
Homilies, solo exhibit, Beall Park Art Center, Bozeman, MT

1994
Trees, group exhibit, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
Northern Rockies/New Visions, group exhibit, Yellowstone Art Center, Billings, MT
Montana Artists, group exhibit, Idaho Arts Council, Idaho Falls, ID
Land/Look: New Paintings, three-person exhibit, Northcutt-Steele Gallery, Montana State University, Billings, MT

1993
Studies for a New Iconography: Drawings in Progress, solo exhibit, McCormick Gallery, Midland College, Midland, TX
Visceral Landscapes: Travel Without Boundaries, group exhibit, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
The Birthday Party Show, group exhibit, Joyce Petter Gallery, Douglas, MI
Regarding Location: New Landscape Paintings, solo exhibit, Joyce Petter Gallery, Douglas, MI
Present Art II, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1992
Regional Confrontations, solo exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Present Art, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1991
The Promised Land, solo exhibit, Barnsdall Park Jr. Art Center, Los Angeles, CA
Real Estate Preview, solo exhibit, Kalamazoo College Art Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI

1990
Land, Cash, and Virtue, solo exhibit, Ojai Art Center, Ojai, CA
L.A. Muralists: in Their Studios, group exhibit, Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Neighborhood Pride: New Murals in Los Angeles, group exhibit, Social and Public Art Resource Center, Venice, CA

1989
The Best of the Eighties, group exhibit, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
The Galleries' Own: Staff Artists 1974-1989, group exhibit, Montgomery Gallery, Pomona College, Claremont, CA

1988
Karen Kitchel: Paintings, solo exhibit, Citrus, Los Angeles, CA
Four Painters, group exhibit, Century Gallery, Veterans Park, Sylmar, CA
Cultivated Landscape, group exhibit, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
Moments Away, solo exhibit, Newport Beach Public Library, Newport Beach, CA
Urban Reprieve, solo exhibit, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Showcase '88, group exhibit, California Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA (publication)

1987
Contemporary Iconography, group exhibit, Rex W. Wignall Museum and Gallery, Chaffey College, Alta Loma, CA (publication)
Newcomers '87, group exhibit, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles, CA
Three Artists, group exhibit, Sonrisa Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Gallery Artists Summer Group Show, group exhibit, Ivey Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
L.A.'s Magical Realists, group exhibit, Sonrisa Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1986
The Home Show, group exhibit, U.S.C. Atelier, Santa Monica, CA
Women’s' History Month Exhibit, group exhibit, Los Angeles City Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Artists, group exhibit, James Doolittle Theater, Hollywood, CA

1985
Through Darkness to Light, group exhibit, The Woman's Building, Los Angeles, CA
Dynamics of Spring, group exhibit, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Rental Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1984
New Art, two-person exhibit, Animal Act Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
The Finals in Painting and Sculpture, group exhibit, Jan Baum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Professors' Choice, group exhibit, Lang Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

1983
Annual Holiday Exhibition, group exhibit, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY
Interpretations of the Feminine, group exhibit, Thorne Hall Gallery, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Fallout Fashion Show, group exhibit, Exploratorium Gallery, California State University at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Armamenta, group exhibit, Chrysalis Gallery, Claremont, CA