Kuzana Ogg: Tripping the Light Fantastic
February 2 - 23, 2019
- Opening Reception: Saturday, February 2, 6-9 pm
Kuzana Ogg - Ardhachandra
Art speaks a language that transcends borders, and this February, guests to K Contemporary will join a truly international conversation that’s engaged minds and imaginations the world over.
“Tripping the Light Fantastic” will offer the insights and impressions of globally acclaimed Santa Fe abstract painter, Kuzana Ogg, a keen observer and gifted communicator, whose innate artistic lexicon reflects colors and cultures from the Far East to the American West. A child of Mumbai, Ogg has collected within herself a versatile visual vocabulary as ideally descriptive of the intimate mysteries of rural China, as of the green hedgerows of Cornwall, and the ancient elegance of lotus-scented Sri Lanka.
February’s exhibit will serve as Colorado’s introduction to Ogg’s articulate style of abstraction, and K Contemporary is proud to do the honors. Guests to this solo will be greeted first by nearly 200 collages the artist has created during a recent art residency in the seaside Scottish village of Cromarty. Moving inland, they’ll encounter more than a dozen large oils, which showcase the progression of the visual language the Kuzana has developed over the course of her career.
Describing this vernacular the artist shares, “There are several themes and shapes that occur through my work, and as this lexicon has developed, I find new ways to use it. The main message is visual, however. I’m philosophical in nature, but I’m not consciously trying to disseminate information, or to illustrate a particular idea or set of politics.”
Influenced by varied and rich cultural experiences Ogg has encountered throughout her life, her art reflects a visual language opulent with symbolism. “Memories of the several countries in which I’ve lived are distilled into symbols appearing in my work. These objects are depicted as abstractions, and some may be translated through an alternate interest of mine. The easiest one to recognize is a bright green shape, which is abstracted from the artificial plastic grass that accompanies sushi. These are what I have experienced, pondered, distilled, and know, so these are the forms I use.”
Visitors schooled in written tongues might also discern within Kuzana’s works characters drawn from the Korean Hangul and Sri Lankan Sinhala languages. For that matter, the title “Tripping the Light Fantastic” is itself a reverent salaam to yet another form of artistic communication. “It means ‘to dance,’” she explains. “In dance there is a period of stillness and a period of motion. The same occurs in my paintings – empty versus full, quiet versus dynamic, saturated color versus transparency. Many of the pieces are titled after Bharat Natayam dance gestures, hand gestures of the Buddha and yoga hand gestures.”
While Kuzana’s brush beautifully expounds on concepts by turns common and peculiar, she’s always pleased to let her audience have the last word. It’s a courtesy borrowed from another universal form of human expression, that of fashion. To the discriminating eye, many of the patterns that clothe her canvases subtly speak of the dressmaker’s art. “One of my favorite aspects of couture is the way that the body is hidden and revealed,” explains Kuzana, offering a winking word of warning. “The paintings are intended to seduce the viewer with color and form – reveal – and after that leave them in peace – hide – to figure out what just happened.”
Kuzana Ogg (b.1971, Bombay, India) is currently in residence at El Zaguan on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, NM. She has participated in residencies in Minnesota, Colombo (Sri Lanka), Tao Hua Tan (China) and most recently at the Cromarty Arts Trust in Scotland. Her paintings have made appearances on the sets of both television shows and feature films, including: “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”, “Southpaw” and “My All- American”. Kuzana's first solo museum exhibition was “Oil” at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in 2014. A second solo followed shortly thereafter, “Rev Zero” at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in 2015. Kuzana's work has been exhibited, published, and collected privately and publicly, nationally and internationally.
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