KAREN KUNC

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KAREN KUNC is internationally known for her large scale, elaborately colored, abstract woodcut prints. Her imagery incorporates richly hued shapes with timeless textural language, leading to a sense of intimacy and detail, with the tactile resonance of wood, paper and impression. "It is their lush exuberance", says Curator David Acton, "that distinguishes her prints from other contemporary work."

Like many descendants of the Abstract Expressionists, Karen Kunc relies on momentary inspiration and improvisation during the process of creation. Rather than depict the awed perception of nature, these prints seem to represent the human compulsion to observe and organize. They evoke scientific analysis, the quest to understand the world, and communicate that understanding.

David Acton / Worcester Art Museum
Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs

Kunc approaches her art with a kind of 360-degree thinking that begins with personal vision and reaches out into the world with an informed sense of wonder. The result is a body of work that is rich, compelling, and relevant.

Katherine Blood / Library of Congress
Curator of Prints and Works on Paper


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Karen Kunc lives and works in Nebraska where she is Cather Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her MFA from Ohio State University in 1977 and her BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1975. Kunc's works are represented in many public and private collections, including: the Museum of Modern Art (NY); the Library of Congress; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Walker Art Center Library; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; Honolulu Academy of Art. Kunc was recognized as the 2007 Printmaker Emeritus by the Southern Graphics Council Conference, and she received two Mid-America Arts Alliance / National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Master Award, and an Individual Artist Fellowship, Ohio Arts Council. She has taught numerous workshops around the world and served as a visiting artist to over 100 institutions. She has curated exhibitions of American art for Finland, France, and Egypt and frequently serves as a juror for national competitions.

Visit the artist's website