Paul Kremer (b. 1971, Chicago, IL) paints configurations that may imply architecture or images from nature with an exuberant eye for color and form. At the core of the artist’s practice is a three-part journey: inspiration and conception, exploration via digital experimentation, and execution through manual articulation.
A self-taught artist, Kremer has had recent solo exhibitions at Maruani Mercier, Belgium; Alexander Berggruen, New York, NY; Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Eugene Binder, Marfa, TX; Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels; Library Street Collective, Detroit, MI; Studio Cromie, Grottaglie, Italy; Pablo Cardoza, Houston, TX; and Makebish, New York, NY. For twenty years, Kremer owned a graphic design studio, where he worked with such clients as Lou Reed, Tom Waits, PBS, and National Geographic. Kremer co-founded the art collective “I Love You Baby,” (1998 to 2008) with Will Bentsen, Rodney Chinelliot, with regular participation from other Texas-based artists, such as Mark Flood and Bexar. Kremer is also known for having invented the now cult-followed social media accounts “Great Art in Ugly Rooms.” Just as its name would indicate, this work chronicles a series of masterworks that Kremer has seamlessly Photoshopped into shabby interiors, sometimes with outdated decor or dilapidated finishings, rendering iconic examples from art history surely out of place. His work is included in the collection of Birmingham Museum of Art, AL. Kremer lives and works in Houston, Texas.
Paul Kremer in the studio, Houston, TX.
This week, a new group exhibition opens at Alexander Berggruen in New York. Called Shapes, the show explores geometric abstraction by artists both new and old (or dead): Marina Adams and Ellsworth Kelly; Ethan Cook and Imi Knoebel; Sam Moyer and Sol LeWitt. From top: Anna Kunz, Ethan Cook, and Paul Kremer.
The Canvas speaks with Dominique Lévy, Casey Kaplan, Alex Logsdail, and Alexander Berggruen; four dealers representing four very different galleries that range considerably in both size and scope, to get their thoughts on an instantly altered art business, and what that means for the gallery ecosystem going forward. Alexander Berggruen, whose Upper East Side gallery space opened in October, has placed works by artists ranging from Ed Ruscha to Paul Kremer with collectors who acquired the pieces solely based on their digital images. The gallery has an online private view of its current exhibition, Quarters: Anne Buckwalter, Dustin Hodges, JJ Manford, Brittney Leeanne Williams through its Artlogic platform that it has shared with its clients; and a 3D virtual-reality tour of the exhibition has been made publicly available via Matterport’s technology on the gallery’s website.
On the occasion of our exhibition Shapes (April 21-May 27, 2021), we spoke with artists Rana Begum, Ethan Cook, Marie Hazard, Sheree Hovsepian, Paul Kremer, Anna Kunz, and Joel Shapiro about their work.
Q: In Imi Knoebel’s 2017 Element 10.2, the two painted blocks of aluminum meet at a point on the bottom corner of the work, but on the upper-left, the line ends unexpectedly about a centimeter to the right of the corner. Similarly, on the lower-left of your painting Opening 06, the edges of the white and vermillion shapes resist meeting each other at a logical point. Could you share some insight into this decision?
A: This is another way to animate the painting. Logically, the points would meet as the light casts across the wall, but if they don’t meet, it implies that the light hit one surface first, which to me sets the painting in motion instead of it being a snapshot of a moment.