Art Show
Ahni Kruger

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Breath 1
Breath 1

Breath, 1995-2022. Triptych. Mixed media on handmade paper, 30x68”; 76.2x172.7 cm

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Breath 2
Breath 2

Breath, 1995-2022. Triptych. Mixed media on handmade paper, 30x68”; 76.2x172.7 cm

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Marking Souls
Marking Souls

2020-2021. Mixed media on handmade paper, 33.5x15”; 85x38 cm irr.

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Breath 1
Breath 1

Breath, 1995-2022. Triptych. Mixed media on handmade paper, 30x68”; 76.2x172.7 cm

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ARTIST STATEMENT

I explore ideas of protection and vulnerability by embracing natural forms and forces while blurring the boundaries between abstraction and representation.  

 

BREATH consists of three 30x22” monoprint collages on handmade paper embedded with photolithographic elements. The photograph, printed on gampi tissue, is of a tree scar. The cotton/abaca sheets were pulled with Paul Wong of Dieu Donne 25 years ago. I have revisited these to incorporate recent experiments with geometry and to free them from my flat file. 

 

Of late, I feel as though I am in a perpetual state of holding my breath—praying that Covid won’t decimate my loved ones, that the spectre of parental dementia spares those of us left behind—or gasping at global terror and ecological disaster. This piece is my visual attempt to breathe calmly. I want to convey the sense of breath—via air currents—by fastening only the tops of the floaty striped paper. Read left to right, this is a narrative of liberation; nearly full coverage by an actual veil (of uncertainty? of oppression?) on the left transitions to the essential elements of the veil incorporated in the drawing and the scar no longer present. 

Interwoven layers of research and meaning infiltrate my art-making process. They coalesce to create the completed work before the viewer. Chance occurrences and serendipity come into play in the evolution of my imagery.

 

The drawing MARKING SOULS, begun in March 2020 and finished in the winter of 2021, incorporates 1000 distinct marks as a starting ritual to honor those lost to the pandemic. The foundation is paper pulled from the uniforms of frontline hospital workers. As the lockdown wore on, there was time to develop a geometric version of the political conflict swirling about, talismans to ward off the true horror of our devolving democracy and the toll of the pandemic.

Can abstraction serve as a way to sift through the wreck and static of our overstimulated present? How might we understand our place in the world? By way of investigations of place, perception and systems, and looking past the surface, my work addresses these and other questions. Obscure allegorical imagery and disrupted repetitive patterns evoke a sense of uncertainty and fragmentation. 

 

My artistic production includes painting and printmaking, working in a variety of materials. I find freedom and transformative power in the serial. I strive to reconcile contradictions between the immediately identifiable and the mysterious. I believe in the power of art to manifest the animating energy of the universe.

BIOGRAPHY

Ahni Kruger received her BFA from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and her MFA in Studio Art from Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ. She lives and works in Pottersville, New Jersey, and in NYC where she currently maintains a studio at the Elizabeth Foundation.

Kruger has been showing her work consistently since her first one person show in NYC in 1996. Solo and group shows have been presented at PPOW, Gitana Rosa Gallery and The Painting Center, in NYC; at Studio 371 in Jersey City, and in Philadelphia at Metropolitan Gallery 250 and the Dutot Museum. Recent solo exhibitions include "From the Garden,"

Madison Gallery, Morristown, NJ; "Meditations on Entropy and Dissolution," Romano Gallery in Blairstown, NJ; "Tempered Chaos,"The Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ; "Juxtapose," the Korn Gallery in Madison, NJ, and "Archetype," Dickinson Hall Gallery at Princeton University. She is represented by Artemis Gallery in Northeast Harbor, ME, and Islesford Artists Gallery on Little Cranberry Island, ME.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Kruger has received an NJSCA Individual Artist

Fellowship; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowship for Artist's Residency; the Vermont

Studio Center Artist's Grant, and the Award for Excellence in Painting from Montclair State

University. To support her work to uphold values of equality, peace, and stewardship of the Earth, she received the 2015 Mellon Arts and the Common Good Development Grant to research Art of Peace & Conflict, Drew University, Madison, NJ. In 2019 she received the Digital Humanities Faculty Development Grant, Drew University, Madison, NJ. Kruger's work is in private and corporate collections including Johnson & Johnson, Schlumberger, Skandia, and Alliance Capital. Kruger's art teaching career spans over 20 years. She taught a variety of studio art courses at Drew University including 2-D Design, Drawing, Painting and Printmaking (Relief, Intaglio and

Lithography), and Printmaking and Painting at Montclair State University.