Dana Louise Kirkpatrick: Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly


Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed
November 9, 2013 – December 21, 2013
Opening Reception With Artist in Attendance: Saturday, November 9, 7-10 PM


Los Angeles, California (October 29, 2013) - KM Fine Arts Los Angeles is pleased to present Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed, a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by American artist Dana Louise Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick creates expressive large-scale drawings and paintings that command immediate attention. Classically trained her oeuvre draws on the annals of art history. Art giants Picasso (b. 1881 - 1973), De Kooning (1904 - 1997) and Basquiat (1960 - 1988) live most fervently in Kirkpatrick’s work, and in so doing, she creates a vehicle for not only preserving their memories, but also breathing them new life. Her own milieu, living in New York City in the twenty-first century, both continues and updates their narrative, contributing to a visceral documentation of modern humankind and our culture.

There is honesty in Kirkpatrick’s work that resonates with her contemporary influences, such as Raymond Pettibon, who contributes in her forthcoming catalog “Dana Louise Kirkpatrick's work has the charm of its own distinction: individual in the best way, but also with an engaging openness and willingness to share, to communicate.”  Like the characters that inhabit Pettibon’s paintings, amidst the angst and turmoil in Kirkpatrick’s work, serenity persists. She speaks of the artists she admires’ ability to translate their inner demonic dialogue into undeniable beauty and Kirkpatrick succeeds in doing the same.

Kirkpatrick’s energy and personal experience is ever-present in her work. Clothes filthy and covered in paint on the C train to a dirty warehouse in SoHo, she has seen a thousand images by the time she gets to her studio each day. “I pull from sources,” she says. “Other artists’ work... rip pages from art books... a drummer on the subway begging... It just happens. I don't think about it. I usually sit against the wall staring down a blank surface. Then it comes… Then it’s gone.” These things inform her creative process, as she channels and reimagines the phantasmagoria of her surroundings. Her nomadic, unsettled existence is evident in her choice of materials – house paint, scrap wood, raw canvas, flattened cardboard boxes –adding a grittiness unfamiliar to her German Expressionist compatriots. Instead of textbook oils, she has “fallen into the habit of using hard compressed charcoal, pastel, house paint and graphite on anything around… 

Not stopping at found materials, Kirkpatrick is preoccupied with found imagery and prevailing memes, referencing popular culture, the art canon, everyday iconography and banal objects. 

Sports, music, popular culture, religion, war, race, poverty, love and sex are just some of the themes that abound, often contorted to point toward the darker side of human nature. Written language fills blank voids while creating giant chasms in the viewer’s sense of ease. But while her content is fraught with antagonism, there is almost always an underlying humor – a commedia dell’arte that turns her grim subject matter into wry, sardonic commentary.

Mimicking these contradictions, Kirkpatrick’s sure, confident linework oscillates between being hard and dark or shaky and scrawling, dependent on the attitude of each piece. Her later work speaks louder in its more minimalistic approach. Offsetting stark black and white, intense primary colors fill sections with color blocking, often dripping from her subjects, the paint visibly running down their forms. Using these striking contrasts she echoes her thematic concerns.

Kirkpatrick refuses to be a passive observer. The role of the artist is no longer merely craftsman, but producer of meaning in some as yet undefined way that is not delineated by a prescribed or set standard. As an artist, Kirkpatrick’s heightened sense of empathy, self-awareness and forthright disposition is supremely evident in her impassioned technique. Together with her rich knowledge of art history, this delivers a compelling combination of the familiar and the refreshingly unique.


For further information and visuals, please contact: Anna Hollinger, Director and Managing Partner (312) 255-1319 or visit www.kmfinearts.com

Press Inquiries, please contact:  Naheed Simjee [email protected]

Los Angeles Gallery Address: 814 North La Cienega, Los Angeles 90069
Los Angeles Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM to 6:00 

Dana Louise Kirkpatrick: Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed

Nov 9 – Dec 21, 2013