Kurt Meer

Geese in the Moonlight, 2021
oil and silver leaf on canvas
30 x 30 in
SOLD
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As an art student at the University of Memphis, Kurt Meer says he was profoundly affected by the theories of Whistler. “I have adopted Whistler’s comparison of painting to music,” he says. “Color is like a keyboard where there is a root key or color harmony within which there are a variety of chords created by playing opposites against one another, such as warm and cool, saturated and unsaturated. All of these build to a tension that is resolved by returning to the root harmony.” Whistler found one means of expressing his theories in a series of works depicting the River Thames at night. For Meer, the Mississippi River that flows through his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, is the inspiration. “For several years I worked in downtown Memphis and watched the changing face of the river throughout the seasons, in times of drought and flooding, and under varied lighting conditions, including sunrise and sunset. I came to know its subtleties, and while the rivers in my paintings are imaginary abstractions of water, sky and vegetation shapes, they undoubtedly go back to my memory of the Mississippi and its fast-moving energy.” Unlike the vigor of the Mississippi, Meer says his goal is to convey tranquility and to create images that become “points of meditation … like seeing water in the early morning when it is still and glasslike.” In many ways his archetypal bodies of water are both timeless as well as indicators of time, affirming what Heraclitus stated, “You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing in.” The harmony he achieves through color echoes in Meer’s compositions. “I use ancient principles of architecture and geometry, both Western and Eastern, in sizing my panels and composing within that space,” he says.


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