R. J. Kern
May 10 - June 30
89 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
KLOMPCHING GALLERY presents an exhibition of photographs by R. J. Kern. This will be the artist’s first solo show in New York, bringing together a selection of color photographs from his three critically acclaimed projects: The Unchosen Ones, Out To Pasture, and Divine Animals: The Bovidae.
Kern’s photography is firmly rooted in presenting the human affect on the landscape and an inquisitive exploration of humanity through man’s relationship with domestic animals.
Inspired by his family’s heritage, the artist also traveled to Ireland, Germany, Norway and Iceland to explore his pastoral roots. Through his travels, he discovered the central role of goats, sheep and rams in the lives of his farming ancestors, as well as the land upon which they toiled. Light and composition is crucial to Kern’s vision, which is inspired by landscape painters Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Sidney Cooper, William Holman hunt and John Everett Millais.
“Kern’s evocation of nature as a device to understand his own sense of self draws upon historical precedence: the use of animals as metaphor and the pastoral tradition. Yet the artist’s broad concept—his exploration of identity—is firmly grounded in a contemporary context. This tightly knit series of images, which together characterize the author, is common to our age of social media. Kern’s aesthetic, however, emphasizes clarity and projects a warm stillness that is a balm to an overstimulate society. This contrast, too—the ties to digital media and the rejection of its characteristics—deepens his pastoral project.”.—Lisa Volpe, Associate Curator, Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts–Houston, Texas.
R. J. Kern (b. 1978) is an American artist whose work explores ideas of home, ancestry, and a sense of place through the interaction of people, animals, and cultural landscapes. His work has been exhibited in a number of notable exhibitions, including at the Museum of Modern Art (Tbilisi, Georgia), National Portrait Gallery (London, UK) and the Yixian International Photography Festival (Anhui, China) among others. Awards and accolades include CENTER 2017 Choice Award Winner, Curator’s Choice (First Place), and the 2017 TAYLOR WESSING Photographic Portrait Prize (Finalist). Kern’s work has been presented in a number of publications, including a feature in National Geographic (November 2017), with his The Unchosen Ones and Out To Pasture series. Public collections holding his work include The Griffin Museum of Photography and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. R. J. Kern lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota