by Richard Krogstad
Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts
April 1 - May 22, 2005
There will be a Gallery Reception Wednesday, April 20, 2005 at 4:00 p.m. All are welcome.
Iowa native Richard Krogstad received his BA in art from the University of Iowa and his MFA from the University of Massachusetts. For several years he worked as a graphic designer, first in Los Angeles, then in Minneapolis. In 1992, he left that field to return to the studio and concentrate on painting. He has won numerous awards for his work in both design and painting, including first place at the Minnesota State Fair 88th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition. His paintings are included in the collection of MBNA America Corporation, Wells Fargo Corporation, Diversified Pharmaceuticals, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. His paintings have also been selected for the Art in Embassies Program for loan to the U.S. Embassy residences in Berlin (Germany) and Kolonia (Micronesia).
"My paintings depict the skies, land, rivers, lakes and strong, honest farm buildings of the Midwest countryside. They celebrate the beauty and the importance of a landscape that is often overlooked and under-appreciated - flyover country, it's sometimes called. While the Midwest landscape is typically more subtle than spectacular, it is nonetheless profound.
Skies are of particular interest to me. Over time, they have come to occupy more and more of the painting surface, until now, my usual proportion is one-fifth land and four-fifths sky. Often the land will be perfectly flat, which emphasize the expanse of the sky even more. I am fascinated by the constantly changing and infinite variety of abstract forms and colors in the sky and the land.
Each new painting is an adventure, partly planned, but ultimately a mystery. In working on a painting, a delicate balance is needed between too much controlling and too much letting go. This doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, the work seems effortless, timeless and meditative. Those are moments of grace, undeserved and beyond understanding.
There is a sense of continuity in painting the land and farms that would have been familiar to my great grandfather, who homesteaded the virgin prairie of western Minnesota. However, much of what once was, is now gone or rapidly disappearing - the prairie ecology, wetlands, and barns for example. Perhaps what is left can be considered worth saving, if it is seen with new eyes."