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United States 1967

The painting is a place of construction and demolition; I sift through fragmented remains of imagery for things that I can salvage. Forms are pierced, fractured, inflated, spun, shaken, morphed, and spliced together as I rearrange them in this visual container. Source imagery comes from a multitude of places like nature video-documentaries, sketchbook doodles, and objects like toy dinosaurs, flowers, or cicada shells.

Abstraction is the means of layering and rearranging these quirky and mundane forms and spaces so that they become imbued with new meanings. I force photoreal elements together with decorative patterns and more gestural forms so that the contrast in perceptual “languages” implies a sort of violence. This is the violence that painting does best; paint-becomes-flesh and paint-becomes-vapor simultaneously.

Increasingly my work has been inhabited by figures from art history. Tiepolo, Rembrandt, and Correggio give me beautiful bodies that are being caught up either literally “into the sky” or figuratively “into rapture” as they swoon under the force of seduction. Paint becomes swirling, smeared, and pixilated as a metaphor for relational struggles; misunderstandings and unfulfilled desire between lovers. It also becomes a beautiful, raw, even sexy presence in its own right.

Kenneth Hall at
OPEN STUDIOS September 2016

More at

Kenneth Hall: Rabbithole

Oil on panel, 5 x 10 cm, 2016

Kenneth Hall: Resistance is Futile!

Resistance is Futile!
Oil on panel, 107 x 92 cm, 2014

Kenneth Hall: Pure Bliss

Pure Bliss
Oil on panel, 45 x 66 cm, 2014

Kenneth Hall: Interstitial Raucous

Interstitial Raucous
Oil on panel, 61 x 61 cm, 2016

Kenneth Hall: Forced Solitude

Forced Solitude
Oil on panel, 107 x 107 cm, 2016

Kenneth Hall: Menacing Presence

Menacing Presence
Oil on panel, 107 x 92 2016

Kenneth Hall: Wading

Oil on canvas, 122 x 122 cm, 2012

Kenneth Hall: Swooning

Oil on canvas, 168 x 122 cm, 2012

Kenneth Hall: Just Not in the Mood

Just Not in the Mood
Oil on canvas, 122 x 168 cm, 2012


I make work as a desperate attempt to reconcile or process the disturbing violence I see in the world. I approach painting as a strategic ground for exploring emotional content. Spatial ruptures and dynamic formal elements create a sort of pictorial or aesthetic violence when superimposed with the human figure. A tragic quality emerges when the body is subsumed by its environment.

While at GlogauAIR I have been using collage as a technique in my painting process, both for the source imagery of the paintings and in making the finished pieces. I have been attracted to figures from the Old Masters; they invoke a sense of timelessness in my work. They function as surrogates within the paintings, referencing the original narrative, but also opening up new meanings and potential. I am calling the current project LOVEBOMB.


Solo and two-person exhibitions

2012 Fragments, Parkland College Art Gallery, Champaign, IL

2011 Fallout (2-Person), Waldemar Schmidt Gallery, Wartburg College, Waverly, IA

2010 Between Here and There: Painting and the Unseen, Mt Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, IA

2008 Zones of Permeability, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL
Escape Routes: Recent Drawings and Paintings, UNI Gallery of Art, Cedar Falls, IA
Cosmic Rifts, 930 Gallery, Louisville, KY

2007 As Skin: Portals, Wormholes, and Breaches in the Levee, MFA Thesis Exhibit
Hiestand Gallery, Miami University, Oxford, OH

2004 Spatial Energies, Arts Annex, Grandview, OH
Kenneth Hall, BFA Thesis Exhibit, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH

Selected group exhibitions

2012 International Painting Annual 2, Manifest Creative Research Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

2011 Americas 2011, Minot State University, Minot, ND
1st Annual Small Works, Goodkind Gallery, Glasgow, MT
Paint Snob Invitational, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR

2010 Magnitude 7, Manifest Creative Research Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Texas National 2010, Stephen F. Austin University, Nagadoches, TX
Studio Visit Magazine, Juried Exhibition-in-Print, Issue #12, Summer 2010
Object-as-Subject, University of Northern Iowa Museum, Cedar Falls, IA

2009 University of Northern Iowa Dept of Art Faculty Exhibition, Univ of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

2008 Miami University Department of Art Bicentennial Exhibition
Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, OH

2007 International Exhibit, Marziart Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
Aktuell: Deep Interests, Passing Interests, and Current Events
Cade Center for Fine Art, Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD
Resistance to Vision: Searching, Sifting, Finding, Seeing
Manifest Creative Research Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Cultivate Beauty, 930 Art Gallery, Louisville, KY
Creative Quarterly Magazine, The Journal of Arts and Design
Exhibition-in-Print, Volume VIII, July 2007

2006 Night of 1,000 Drawings
Artists Space, New York, NY


2007 Miami University, Oxford, OH (MFA Painting)
2004 Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH (BFA Painting)
1997 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (MS Civil Engineering)

Teaching experience

2008 Assistant Professor
Current-University of Northern Iowa, Painting and Drawing

2007 Adjunct Professor
Miami University