Judith Kruger - Drawing Ground 2
Judith Kruger - Drawing Ground 1
Judith Kruger - Drawing Ground 6
Judith Kruger - Drawing Ground 1
Judith Kruger - Drawing Ground 7
January 17th – March 14th, 2020
Judith Kruger is currently in the group show Pigment featuring works by Louise Blyton, Makoto Fujimura, Raphaëlle Goethals, Judith Kruger and Hiroko Otake. These notable artists delve into the exploration of color not merely as visual sensation, but its physical manifestation as raw pigment and all that it conjures.
The fact that color is not tangible tends to be overlooked. Our eyes detect light with wavelengths that bounces off objects, determining the particular color we see. This selection of artworks engages with the corporeal material that governs what we perceive as color. Whether it’s the application of natural minerals to affirm our relationship with the earth or the vibrancy of pure pigment to accentuate form. Each of these artists utilizes the physical aspect of color to give meaningful insight into our visual faculty and beyond.
Judith Kruger collects and manipulates abstract visual information and matter from the environment. Through this process she explores ideas of space and place; the freedom derived from unknown territory in combination with the attachment to a physical location of personal importance. That tension as well as the tension between other opposing pairs is a consistent part of the dialogue of Kruger’s work, including simplicity and complexity; pristine and decay; common and exotic; intention and chance; stillness and motion; and permanence and transience. These opposing interactions inform the work conceptually and technically.
Kruger utilizes Eastern and Western processes and media. Since 2001, she has immersed herself in the unique study of Nihonga, a Japanese mineral pigment painting process. Nihonga painting utilizes pigments derived from natural ingredients, minerals, shells, corals, and even semi-precious stones and then combined with a hide glue solution. This method allows for a great deal of layering, employing collage—and decollage—like painting techniques with mineral pigments, gold and silver leaf, wax, and sumi ink. The use of layering, not only emphasizes the surface finish and contrast of the materials, but also the conceptual implications of that contrast and blending of material.
Expand to view Judith Kruger‘s:
b. 1955, Pittsburgh, PA
Judith Kruger, born 1955, is an American visual artist whose paintings, prints and mixed media works address Human-Environment connectivity and their shared vulnerabilities. She is recognized internationally for her advocacy of natural painting materials and historic, ecological processes.
Judith’s solo exhibitions include Drawing Ground, MLT Gallery-Wisdom House, Litchfield, CT, Mingled Terrain, Richardson Art Museum, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC (2018), An Alchemic View, Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut (2015), Touching Rain, Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY (2015) Outside In, Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona (2014) and New Paintings at Morrison Gallery, Kent, Connecticut (2013). Group exhibitions include Agawami Museum Hall, Tokushima, Japan, Sato Museum, Tokyo, Japan, Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, John and Robyn Horn Gallery, Penland, NC, Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, IL, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, Gallery G, Hiroshima, Japan, Pallazo Dell’Annunziata, Matera, Italy, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL and The Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA.
Judith’s work is held in private, public and corporate collections: some of which include Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY, Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT, Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, Savannah College of Art and Design, Hong Kong and Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Pittsburgh, PA.
In 2008, Judith initiated the course Nihonga: Then and Now at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was awarded a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs to teach her course Getting the Dirt on Paint in the Chicago Public School System. Her painting workshops and studio residencies, based on these courses, are currently garnering an international following. In 2011, Judith was awarded a Target Professional Development grant. She is a recipient of a Mass MoCA Assets for Artists matching grant (2016) and most recently, a Connecticut Office of the Arts Fellowship grant (2019).
Additionally, between 1977 and 2007, Judith collaborated with artisans in over a dozen countries on applied art and design manufacturing projects. During this time, she travelled extensively throughout Japan, India and Thailand researching the historic, scientific and artistic applications of inorganic and organic pigments. She has served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Syracuse University Chicago Arts Council Board and Chicago’s Ravenswood ArtWalk Board. Her fundraising efforts, which mobilized the creativity of hundreds of artists and designers in the Chicago area, resulted in the donation of significant funds to UCLA AIDS Institute to further AIDs research.
Judith currently resides in Northwest, CT. Her studio is located in an old hosiery mill, 125 miles north of New York City, at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains.
2019 Connecticut Office of the Arts Fellowship Grant
2016 Mass MoCA, Assets for Artists Matching Grant, Midas Corporation
2011 Hajime Kondo Nihonga Materials Recipient, Harry Lynn, Gig Harbor, WA
2011 Painting Memorial Endowed Award, Savannah College of Art and Design
2010 Josh Yu Chinese Painting Award, Savannah College of Art and Design
2008 NAP Teaching Grant, Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL
2008 John C Coonley School Matching Grant, Chicago, IL
The Amsterdam, Port Washington, NY
Awagami Museum Hall of AWA, Tokushima, Japan
HCI Equity, Washington DC
IAM, Tokyo Japan
Jefferson Hospital, Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Kiya Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Neiman Marcus, Dallas, TexasPepper Hamilton, Philadelphia, PA, Harrisburg, PA
Phipps Conservatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Pittsburgh, PA
Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA and Hong Kong, China
Numerous private collections: Canada, Australia, China, Cyprus, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Thailand, USA
Japan America Society of Fairfield County
Nihonga 100 Blog- US Editor with Eve Loh Kazuhara (Singapore), Valerie Eguchi (Paris) and Yoshinori Akazawa (Tokyo)
Northwest Connecticut Arts Council (fiscal sponsorship)
NY Artist’s Circle
WEAD, Women Environmental Artists Directory
Nihonga refers to a traditional method of Japanese painting through the use of mineral pigments. This process has guided Judith Kruger’s work for more than a decade. Bentley Gallery proudly unveils Outside In, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Phoenix.
The Art Founders Project – Artist Interview
American abstract painter Judith Kruger emphasizes a human-environment connection in her work. In an interview with Sherry Saunders, Kruger recounts her introduction to the process of Nihonga, a traditional Japanese style of mineral painting she was introduced to while in Kyoto. Kruger also discusses her re-contextualization of this process in the contemporary art world.
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