Dan Christensen, April Blue, 1995, acrylic on canvas, 95 x 77".

Kansas City

“Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting”

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
4420 Warwick Boulevard
May 15–August 30

The Sheldon Museum of Art
12th and R Streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus
October 23–January 31

Curated by Rachael Blackburn Cozad

Dan Christensen was a painter. That is, he was a painter. Like, a P-A-I-N-T-E-R. Christensen graduated in 1964 from the Kansas City Art Institute and began, well, painting about painting. And he was canny enough to narrow down his subject matter to composition, color, and—mais oui!—the way paint behaves on canvas. He was also gutsy enough to try almost any way—from grids of muted color blocks to ropy, aerobatic, candy-color sprays—of combining those elements to arrive at some sort of visual poetry: He scraped, he stained, and his color ranged from tastefully tan to psychedelically bright. Did all of his paintings turn out to be masterpieces? No. But enough of them are beautiful and different from the work of other “color painters” to merit this thirty-five-work retrospective.