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Deutsch, Janson, Koon and Kraut at Laura Moore Fine Art Studios

Oxford Still Life IV by Susan Kraut, 2011

Oxford Still Life IV by Susan Kraut, 2011

Place: Richard Deutsch, Jeffrey Janson, Judy Koon and Susan Kraut
Laura Moore Fine Art Studios
Opening March 10, 2012

The four painters in this show at Laure Moore Fine Art Studios, colleagues and friends through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, are all interested in landscape as sources for their work. They all live in the Midwest, in the Chicago area, with its flat terrain and harsh winter weather. Each of them has found inspiration from landscapes they have found in distant and very different types of places. The challenge for all has been to create a practice which allows them to make these subjects their own and to paint them throughout the year.

They share an overriding interest in the light and atmosphere of a particular place, and each has sought an individual solution to making color, composition and paint application express that visual experience. The work on exhibit reveals the variety of approaches and the uniqueness of vision that each of the painters brings to the subject. The exhibition “PLACE” will feature both an opening night artists’ reception and an art panel discussion with these noteworthy artists: Judy Koon, Jeffrey Janson, Susan Kraut and Richard Deutsch.

The four artists will hold a panel discussion on the logistics of painting the landscape in far away places on Saturday that will include discussion points such as:

  • How do you choose your subject within a landscape? Do you know ahead of time what you are looking for? Why do certain subjects feel right?
  • What are your logistics when working outside: materials, set up, time spent, etc.?
  • How do you make decisions about editing and deciding what is most important?

About the Artists

Judy Koon has embraced the challenge of painting from direct observation for most of her career.   When she began spending summers teaching in Umbria, Italy, over a decade ago, she was inspired by the hilly terrain, the unusual viewpoints, and the subtle, constantly changing light and color. Working mainly with oils, she paints directly from what she observes outside in the landscape, in all types of light and atmospheric conditions. The paintings may be refined or edited or even copied once they are back in her Midwest studio, but the majority of work is done on site, in the moment of observation. Koon taught painting for 25 years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and many other places, and is currently the Director of Education at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University.

Jeffrey Janson is also passionately committed to the activity of painting directly from observation.   He has painted summer landscapes near Lake Michigan and views from his Chicago windows, seeking to record the immediate, specific feel and color of what is in front of him. More recently, he has spent time painting on both coasts, in the Hudson River Valley in New York State and in Southern California, setting up his oil paints and easel outdoors and working to capture the immediacy of the view. His paintings attempt to reveal the subject from the most personal viewpoint possible; the title of each painting is the date and place painted, a record of his experience at that moment. Janson has a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Susan Kraut rarely does finished paintings during time she spends in foreign locations. She makes studies, quick pencil sketches and small gouache paintings, and takes photographs, all intended as sources for the larger, slower oil paintings which are made back in her studio. The paintings are constructed from the studies, the photographs, and her memory of the experience. Most often, they are composed to reveal a bit of the interior space where the artist is staying; the windows become frames to reveal the space and light of the landscape beyond. Kraut teaches painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She has taught in Portugal, The Czech Republic, Scotland and Ireland, as well as Ox-Bow Summer School in Saugatuck, Michigan.

For Richard Deutsch, traveling abroad is a way to find the structures and spaces that become metaphors in his work. While on site, he takes notes, photographs his subject and makes drawings and painted studies. Back in his Chicago studio, the paintings are composed carefully and executed in a slow, meticulous process of building up color and paint stroke, fusing the quality of his initial response with a reflective, ordered vision. Deutsch teaches painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Last summer Kraut and Deutsch taught a study trip together in Ireland for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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