Viajem, a collection of new paintings by renowned artist Kevin Tolman, will be
on display April 21-May 14 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening
reception will be held Thursday, April 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The show will
feature nearly two-dozen paintings consisting of acrylic and mixed media on
paper and canvas, many with elements of collage. Tolman's abstract pieces present
an array of organic lines, shapes, and patterns that rove delicately across the
surface. At once independent and communal, the nonrepresentational elements and
symbols create an indefinable sense of place.
Aptly titled Viajem (the Portuguese word for "voyage"), Tolman's most recent
body of work is largely informed by his time spent in Portugal where he was
recently an artist-in-residence with the Obras Foundation. The region's
aesthetic influences include the colors, lines, and patterns found in manmade
constructs such as architecture and marketplaces, as well as in the lush and
abundant natural surroundings. He distills these down to their most rudimentary
elements, extracting their most potent visual essence, thereby making them universal.
Tolman considers both the physical and historical strata that shape the geography
as well, noting the remnants of recent and ancient cultures, including
Phoenician, Celtic, Roman, and Moorish, among others. They are interspersed
among layers of thriving natural matter, both overtaken and exposed, in an
ongoing dialogue about the balance between nature and humankind.
Tolman takes inspiration from his explorations, and in turn, utilizes those
ideas to embark on the very personal journey of creating. Seeking the freedom
that comes with spontaneous mark making and composition, he begins each
painting without any preliminary work, allowing the piece to evolve in real
time. He remarks, "These works are created slowly in layer after layer, and
it is by taking risks and paying attention to the chance circumstances that
arise during this process that each piece is allowed to reveal its individual
direction and character."
Consequently, Tolman's paintings are largely about process and the synergy
generated on a cerebral-intuitive axis. "I love the process of working on
these paintings," he says. "The unplanned solutions, the finished works
themselves, come about via the doing, the act of painting. The direction
rises up out of making the work, and in the end, these pieces have their
own voice, and reveal themselves if I listen."
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A native of Detroit, Michigan, who now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
Kevin Tolman has been painting professionally for four decades. He has
exhibited work in galleries, museums, and universities across the United
States, including those in Fort Worth, Dallas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and
New York. He has shown internationally as well, in Canada, Mexico, Portugal,
and in England's Art London exhibition.
Tolman's artwork has been featured in many publications, including Art in
America, THE Magazine, Southwest Art, the Dallas Morning News, and the
Albuquerque Journal, among others. His work is included in various private
and public collections, among them the Albuquerque Museum of Art, Bank One,
the HGTV Dream Home 2010, Hyatt Hotels, Mutual of America, Neiman Marcus,
the New Mexico State Capitol, Union Pacific, and the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas.
Kevin Tolman is a graduate of the Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts
in Detroit. In 1990, he spent a year painting in Arraiolos, Portugal, and ever
since, has continued to travel and make art throughout Europe, Mexico, and
South America. Tolman has been represented by William Campbell Contemporary
Art since 1978.