Ken Schiano

As a painter formally trained as an architect, Ken’s skills as an artist are largely self-taught. He tends to rely heavily on architectonic principles, especially in the honest use of materials and process. His practice therefore, has an unaffected quality. He is a staunch advocate of abstraction and is known for his intuitive sense of composition and structure. Together with an uncanny use of color and light, he creates powerful abstract presences.

“My work is uncompromisingly abstract, and despite external sources, my subject matter is derived primarily from the act of painting. I mix my own colors and make the media I use from scratch — watercolor, pastel, a cold wax medium, matching them to the shape and strength of my hand. While it is not a conscious intent to extend the creative practice to include the actual manufacture of the material used, it’s logical that I would be interested in their genesis and my paintings integrate such knowledge. In the process I hope my activities would also begin to suggest where the bounds between discipline and
surrender lie.”

In the last eight years Ken has embarked on a project to reevaluate the relationship between a painting’s image and the painting as a physical object displacing and altering space. The shaped paintings have developed from this desire to treat painting as spatial phenomena, and as a surrogate embodying the painter’s progress. The current series of shaped paintings synthesize the painting’s shape with the compositional energies contained within its edges and establish a “state of grace” bringing the shape’s disparate field energies into a tenuous equilibrium. Grounded as he is by his training as an architect, these paintings employ the ambiguities between shallow and deep space readings.

Ken has recently been awarded a MSAC Individual Artist Award. He was selected as a finalist for the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Artist Grant, a semi-finalist for the 2015 Sondheim Art Prize and was the recipient of the 19th Annual Peggy and T. Denton Miller Award for excellence in Contemporary Art (in any medium) at the Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD, in 2014. He has had a recent solo exhibition at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD and a solo show at Massoni Art, Chestertown, MD, and continues to be featured extensively in group shows there. He is currently represented by the Massoni Art Gallery in Chestertown, MD, and the Long View Gallery in Washington DC. Additional work is available at the James Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.

He has had work exhibited in NY, (MOMA), Atlanta (Momus Gallery), Portland (Danforth Gallery), Belfast (Frick Gallery), Bangor (Clark House Gallery, Arte Fino), Rockland (Carver Hill), and Blue Hill (Leighton Gallery). His work resides in both corporate and private collections including the University of Maine at Machias, ME, The Cooper Union, NY, NY, the American Board of Surgery, Philadelphia, PA, Connor, Strong and Buckelew, Philadelphia, PA, Wakefield Capital, Chevy Chase, MD, and SM Lighting Design, NY, NY. As an Assistant Professor, he has previously taught studio art and architectural design at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY and at IIT, Chicago, IL. He received his architecture degree at The Cooper Union, NY, NY.

Recent Work