LYNNE KORTENHAUS was raised on a 26-acre New Jersey farm among makers—her grandfather cultivated the land and her grandmother and mother brought the fruits of his labor to the table daily. Early on, Lynne was influenced by this homesteading heritage. She used her grandmother’s Singer sewing machine to craft her own dresses from Vogue patterns, and learned the art of crochet. She took this joy of making to the Rhode Island School of Design where she earned a BFA in 1973 and an MFA in 1975. Lynne spent her final year studying drawing and printmaking in Florence, Italy. The technical, process-driven demands of printmaking satisfy her obsessive nature; she has been dedicated to refining her craft ever since. Lynne has always lived close to the sea—she has residences in Charlestown and Provincetown, MA, and Clearwater, FL—and her art is deeply influenced by the changing moods of the shoreline in every season. Wherever she travels, she photographs natural moments and uses these images to inspire her work. She is particularly drawn to the reflection of light on land and ocean, and the Atlantic coast’s ever-changing tides and dunes. Lynne is a passionate supporter of the fine arts community. She is a member of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum; a Director’s Circle member of the Institute of Contemporary Art; and a trustee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is currently the chair of the Public Art Commission for the City of Boston. She is a contributing artist to the annual FAWC Monoprint Project, originally established by Michael Mazur and currently directed and curated by artist Bert Yarborough, and is a member of the Boston Printmakers.
JULY 20 – AUGUST 8, 2018
RECEPTION: FRIDAY JULY 20, 2018 6 – 9 PM
About ‘Sea Dances’
In the tradition of artists whose spirits have been shaped by the sea, Lynne Kortenhaus’ work is rooted in the drama—and quietude—of the ever-changing coastal landscape. In Sea Dances, a collection of prints created last summer at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Kortenhaus puts forth her fascination with light, color, and form as observed in, from, and around the Atlantic Ocean.
“I am transformed by the lyrical quality of nature, even in its boldest and most dangerous outcomes,” Kortenhaus says. “The Outer Cape’s National Seashore is a constant reminder and storyteller of both the everyday beauty of the tides, wind, and sun, and the ravaging effects of its storms.”
Kortenhaus pulls viewers into richly colored, moody horizons that mesmerize with tumult and stillness. Alternatively, ethereal abstracts in pared down palettes and nearly minimal compositions buoy us in their simplicity. Still, the artist’s hand and definitive use of materials are apparent.
The technical, process-driven demands of printmaking appeal to Kortenhaus’ self-described obsessive nature, though after nearly 50 years honing her craft (Kortenhaus studied at Rhode Island School of Design, earning a B.F.A. in 1973 and an M.F.A. in 1975), mechanics are second nature. She says, “I love process and feel comfortable enough in the technical skill sets of the medium to let go, and let the materials play to my imagery.”
In the studio, Kortenhaus employs copper, linoleum, wood, or Plexiglass plates, cut to size. After formalizing her concept based on photographs she’s taken on daily jaunts or far flung travels, she arranges found materials on the plate. These be might be a portion of a cover of The New York Times Magazine, a torn bit of handmade paper, or various fibers, such as thread, yarn, tulle, cheesecloth, or re-purposed tarlatan that was used for wiping ink from etchings. Ultimately, her final work is the result of a series of printmaking runs, combined with hand-applied graphite, colored pencil, or pastel.
“My materials dance across the surface of the plate to create imagery comprised of shapes and color that echo the fluidity of the ocean and sky,” Kortenhaus says, “I am referencing the physical changes of the landscape caused by the perpetual pull of the tides.”
~ Marni Elyse Katz (Insta: @StyleCarrot Insta @StyleCarrotCurates @StyleCarrotCape)