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2/1, Stefan Kurten: True Colors
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Nancy Tubbs

January 30, 2020    

Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco presents:

Stefan Kurten: True Colors

Opening reception Sat, Feb 1, 4-6pm; Exhibition Feb 1 - March 14, 2020; hours Tu, W, F, Sa: 10am-5:30pm, Th: 11am-7pm, San Francisco


Stefan Kurten's paintings explore the complexities of our universal yearning for the ideal place to call home. His source material includes appropriated images from architecture and design magazines as well as photographs he has taken during his global travels. These become starting points for carefully constructed scenes whose idyllic environments belie their illusory promise of ultimate happiness.

The seductive fantasy of the good life takes a variety of forms. Mid-century-style homes in meticulously landscaped surroundings are adorned with iconic modern art and design objects. Charming cottages in bucolic environs suggest an escape to a simpler life. Swimming pools and palm trees evoke a relaxed lifestyle of golf-filled days and warm, cocktail-soaked nights. A soft, golden glow suffuses these settings (an effect achieved through metallic gold pigment in the foundational layers of the paintings), adding to their sense of harmony and richness.

There is a deceptive familiarity to Kurten's depictions. They may seem at first like enviable places, but they become unsettling upon closer examination. Misshapen trees, apocalyptic skies, and precarious hillsides suggest a subtly sinister force at play. Dead grass and traces of graffiti conjure abandonment and decay. Rorschach-like reflections within the compositions signal a dizzying hallucination. Such unexpected disturbances expose darker truths underlying the emblems of Western prosperity.

Hosfelt Gallery has represented Stefan Kurten since its founding in 1996. Kurten is a professor at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, where, as a young man, he studied with Michael Buthe. Kurten is also an alumnus of the San Francisco Art Institute. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); as well as many others. He lives with his wife and daughter in Dusseldorf.

Opening reception Sat, Feb 1, 4-6pm; Exhibition Feb 1 - March 14, 2020; hours Tu, W, F, Sa: 10am-5:30pm, Th: 11am-7pm

Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
260 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103


Phone: 415-495-5454
Contact: Dianne Dec

About Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco:
Hosfelt Gallery has shown international emerging to mid-career artists since 1996 in San Francisco. In fall 2012, Hosfelt expanded into a new 8,900 sq ft San Francisco venue. Our program is built around artwork with a refined level of execution that addresses critical inquiries in relation to the history of art, culture, politics, and intellectual discourse.
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