Global Talent Art Prize 1st Winner
Tatana Kellner: The gap between abstraction and representation
Tatana Kellner. duck duck go, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 22.25″ x 30″, 2021
A wealth of experience, a variety of artistic practices, a confident position in contemporary art, a constant search for new forms and means – this is what distinguishes Tatana Kellner from other contemporary artists.
Her work is included in the collections of the Tate Library in London, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Library and the Museum of Modern Art Library.
Tatana Kellner. Defender, acrylic on paper, 30″ x 44″, 2022
Kellner has also been awarded several prestigious residencies at places such as the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, Artpark in Lewiston, New York, and the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Her work is held in permanent collections, including The Tate Library in London, U.K., the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Library and the Museum of Modern Art Library in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in many solo and group shows, in venues throughout the United States.
Tatana Kellner. End of Summer, acrylic on paper, 22″ x 30″, 2021
After many successes and achievements, she does not stop, but continues to search and experiment, completely devoting herself to the creation process, finding inspiration and potential in it.
In “Apart” series Kellner come back to her favorite medium—painting. Tatana says, she was inspired in her youth by the works of Francesco Goya, Max Ernst, Mary Cassatt, and Oskar Kokoschka. In her latest series, there are references both to the early expressionists, and clearer images of the neo-expressionism of the 80s, with their love of sweeping figurative art.
Tatana Kellner. Talking back, acrylic on paper, 26″ x 40″, 2022
Kellner’s work is respectful to its early 20th-century roots by not making formal aspects of painting into a joke. She mixes the formal foundations of expressionism at the beginning of the last century with topical themes that transform public perception and change the perspective of its self-awareness. But it all comes down to an old but fundamental truth: the ability to draw gives a good distortion.
«In my work I explore the collision of information with the excitement of the unknown. I’m interested in the gap between abstraction and representation, the non-specificity and the compression of feelings combined with the adventure the material lends itself to. My process is organic and intuitive, beginning with a mark, a shape, or a photographic reference to create an optical and emotional experience. From these tentative beginnings, a new space emerges, suggesting perhaps figurative or associative element that I respond to. This is not something literal, it’s a feeling, often a fleeting one, a sense of things under the surface, that something is there, lurking just around the corner. It is this ambiguity that intrigues me», Tatana says.
Tatana Kellner. Caged, acrylic on canvas, 58” x 72.5”, 2020
In her last series, Kellner produces an internal distortion of the figurative, leaving gaps through this gesture for the viewer’s personal interpretation of the image she sees. Perhaps this technique is not new in contemporary art, and Tatana’s works themselves sometimes resemble the complex social and visual cues of Eric Fischl mixed with a note of Nicole Eisenman’s madness, yet in their totality gives rise to a unique dialogue between the artist and the object she creates.
Tatana Kellner. Crossed, acrylic on paper, 33″ x 27″, 2020
The beautiful veil of picturesqueness combined with the burden of social changes, in the seemingly given narrative plane of the image seen, flows like sand through fingers, crumbling into an associative series of visual hints that keep the viewer in the throes of recognition and the simultaneous loss of a clear, consistent story.
Tatana Kellner. Chase, acrylic on paper, 26” x 40”, 2022
Extensive experience in working with collage technique leaves a noticeable imprint on the picturesque series. The works seem to be made up of various pieces of a mosaic, cut out and pasted onto the common plane of the canvas from the artist’s imagination. The rupture of the elements of the image is trying to scatter in different directions, but by some unknown force it is kept in tension, creating a glow of a holistic image.
Tatana Kellner. Still dreaming, digital print and acrylic on paper, 50″ x 72″, 2022
This is the exceptional talent of Tatana – the ability to create a pictorial image from the elusive and scattered, impossible to know puzzles of reality.