Minneapolis

Kn Thurlbeck

Jon Oulman Gallery

In each of Kn Thurlbeck’s mostly large, brooding works, found objects are juxtaposed with a photographic fragment against a broad, empty field of paint. The oil pigment is thinned out so that it runs down a bit after it is applied, suggesting rain on a windowpane. These runnels of paint—primarily black—drip down over both photograph and object, partially obscuring their identity, sometimes exposing portions of unprimed canvas. The effect is to create a dense, moody atmosphere rather than textural weight.

Thurlbeck’s fierce paintings invoke notions of spirituality, self-sacrifice, and dread. Their dark, expressive spaces challenge the viewer to uncover obscure relationships between object and image. Thurlbeck’s cryptic dramas seem to represent acts of atonement, reconciliation, or retribution, yet the reasons for these acts are never made explicit. In one small untitled painting, for example,

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