March 31 - May 5
Artist’s Reception: Spring Gallery Night March 31, 2-9pm

Hierchy, L2
Joachim Kersten
Hierchy, L2, 2006
Acrylic On Canvas
59 X 49 inches
Labyrinths (Summer)
Joachim Kersten
Labyrinths (Summer), 2006
Acrylic On Canvas
66 X 72 inches



Human beings change from day to day and even from minute to minute. A painting, once finished, does not change. A Joachim Kersten painting, however, is so complex, so interactive, and so subtle that one can examine it carefully before turning away for a moment or for a decade, then turn back to what seems to be a new work of art. As one shifts position to the right or left, new effects of light are thrown into relief. Ideas, details, and even whole forms, unnoticed before, tease their way in and out of the field of vision. The artist devotes long hours to each piece, and the result is a work of art that rewards long and continuous viewing.

Kersten is an attentive student of the natural world, but he gives no clue of its appearance in his work. Instead, he bypasses the surface and somehow gets inside the very workings of nature. Like a tumbling mountain stream, his paintings have a reflective surface that gives way to luminous depths. Color pools up like dappled light through treetops; its circular shapes suggest raindrops or sunspots, echoes of thunder, or the steady pound of a heartbeat. The constant interplay of light and dark, microcosm and macrocosm evokes both subatomic particles and galaxies. Contrast and contradiction create emotional intensity; sharp changes in scale, from sweeping, mural-sized canvases to more intimate pieces, keep the viewer's mind in motion.

As nature engenders, dissolves, and regenerates, so Kersten constructs his work. He prepares each canvas with a rough, geological surface of modeling paste and plaster in very thick and very thin layers, building it into an organic composition before he adds additional layers of acrylic paint and shellac that create space and depth. He lays down veil upon veil of lucent brush strokes that hint at windswept deserts or sunlight glinting off the ocean. He improvises intuitively, at times disregarding the original surface so that a disc of transparent color may overlap but not entirely coincide with a circular rough shape. This interface might recall the markings of a seashell or a fragment of amber. It mimics a retinal afterimage; it may appear to wax and wane like the moon.

Kersten divides his time between Fort Worth, Texas and his native Nuremberg, Bavaria, where he has been accorded great honors as an artist. An invitation from the city of Schweinfurt, Bavaria inspired a series of five shows called Digitalis Purpurea. The first group, which opened in an exhibition space in a mid-sixteenth century city hall, seamlessly joined contemporary consciousness with massive, ancient architecture. Subsequent exhibits in the series are now traveling to museums and galleries in other German and American cities, including the current show at William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth.

Kersten maintains an active, lifelong relationship with every work of art he creates. "I can't always remember what state I was in when I painted a certain piece," he says, "but when I see it years later, something will grab me. I look forward to this. I want to be surprised again, like I was the first time. It seems that there is always something more."

Previous Exhibitions

 Janus-style New Year's Exhibition - Looking Forward / Looking Back: January 19 - February 28, 2007

 New and Emerging Texas Talent - Show Offs II: December 1, 2006 - January 13, 2007

 BERND HAUSSMANN - RECOLLECT: October 21 - November 25, 2006

 DALTON MARONEY - CROSSINGS: September 9 - October 14, 2006

 Group exhibition - MAN-I-FEST: June 24 - August 5, 2006

 Patrick Kelly - I Want Eye Candy: May 13 - June 11, 2006

 Carol Benson - ATTACHMENTS: April 1 - April 30, 2006

 Cecil Touchon - VISUAL POETRY: February 18 - March 26, 2006

 RANDALL REID & STEVE MURPHY - HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: December 2, 2005 – January 14, 2006,

 RICHARD THOMPSON - Mindful Wading: October 22 – November 26, 2005

 JOHN HOLT SMITH - Work by Tarrant County artists: June 25 – August 6, 2005


 KEVIN TOLMAN - PAINTINGS + DRAWINGS: May 14 – June 18, 2005

 SEVAN MELIKYAN - ‘AFTER’ SERIES II: April 2 – May 2, 2005

 A FOCUSED VISION - Group Exhibition: February 11 – March 26, 2005

 SCOTTIE PARSONS - NEW PAINTINGS: December 3, 2004 – January 8, 2005

 J.T. GRANT - BÊTE NOIRE: September 18 – October 23, 2004

 SURFACE - Group Exhibition: June 19 – September 4, 2004

 JUDY YOUNGBLOOD - NEW WORK: May 1 - June 5, 2004

William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76107
PHONE: (817) 737-9566, FAX: (817) 737-5466
Gallery One Frames - (817) 737-9571

William Campbell Contemporary Art
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Tuesday – Friday
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday
and by appointment
Gallery One Frames
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday