Constance Kiermaier: Retrospective “Delving Forward and Backward”

February 4, 2013 – March 15, 2013


The multi-media works in Constance Kiermaier’s new Retrospective Exhibition, “Delving Forward and Backward” at UCONN Stamford, February 2 through March 16, are as fresh as her newest found objects in nature or everyday life and her innovative ways of transforming diverse elements into compelling contemporary collages and constructions. The work is also as time honored as her memory boxes and collages in which she combines symbolic objects and historic momentos with painting to celebrate the life of her late husband, family, friends and her own childhood, growing up on a farm in Virginia with a cow, pony, sheep, pigs, chickens and geese. She attributes this experience to making her “more attuned to nature”.

Of her Retrospective, which has a public reception on Saturday,February 9 from 3 to 5 p.m., Kiermaier says, “I wanted to show a body of work that represents my life.” This gifted, imaginative artist can make art out of just about anything – from a plank of wood, to a dried onion skin to her late husband’s collection of neckties, which she once appropriated for an exhibition called “Obsolete Elegance” at the Silvermine Galleries in New Canaan. She is a painter, printmaker, a boxist and collagist. She also creates sculptural constructions in wood and occasionally utilizes photography in her collages and assemblages.

“The surfaces I choose to work upon have always guided me as an artist, and I’m always seeking new ways to use them as a foundation for collage, drawing or painting. I want to integrate the surface and the materials in a way that enhances both. Through elements of design, placement and color, my goal is to subtly suggest a perception of my personal experience of the world around me. I want to go beyond the physical limitations of the surface – to deeper places which reflect a universe of my own making.” Wood is one of her favorite mediums and she often works with large unfinished planks in her constructions. ” I use the shapes and patterns to enhance the clean clear surface, and let the nature of the wood – its vertical direction – speak louder than the designs I have placed upon it. I want to imbue a sense of direction and some fantasy to the wood’s static quality,” she states.

It’s all about creating a visual experience for both artist and viewer. “A painting, collage or construction isn’t really art no matter how well it is conceived and rendered unless it has some sort of mystery – magic, if you will – which cannot be explained in words.” She adds.

In addition to making art in her Norwalk studio, Kiermaier, also teaches art to a number of private students. A long time Silvermine Guild member who lived in Westport for many years, Kiermaier is the recipient of grants from the CT Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

– Nancy S. Helle, Free Lance Writer & Public Relations Consultant

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