Kaethe Kauffman VG

Kaethe Kauffman: Making the Invisible Visible

A string dipped in paint and then wrapped around a woman’s back, neck, arm. The model makes a subtle shift, and it’s recorded in the smearing, smudging, blurring of the line. That simple movement is documented and temporal is made permanent in Kaethe Kauffman’s photographs in her continuing “Muscle Movement” series. A figure sits in a lotus pose, a yoga posture of meditation, of calmness. Yet within the silhouette is a welter of high-energy… These acrylic and oil paintings are from Kauffman’s also ongoing series, the “Mediators.” The photographs are cool, restrained, conceptual; the paints are hot, explosive, expressive. On a purely formal representation, action and stillness, but oddly so are Kauffman’s paintings. Although superficially different, they both emanate from the same aesthetic sensibility and the same desire to make the invisible visible, the artist’s job in Kauffman’s view. Just as the “Muscle Movement” series records the effort required to produce these deceptively straightforward images, so do Kauffman’s “Mediators”. She makes the striving to reach enlightenment as visible as she does the muscle movements of that series.
-Karen Chambers, New York City