In preparing this exhibition there were many starts and stops, fear and hibernating, loss and shared resilience. There was a prevailing feeling that everything I did mattered and nothing I did mattered. It was a constant feeling of high-stakes and low-stakes, concurrent and steady. Going to the grocery store was at once a life-threatening expedition, and simply a means to replace the empty milk carton. What I did in the studio mattered immeasurably because it was a moment of solace, and merely something to pass the time, not knowing if the work would have an audience.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a John Lennon song, ‘(Just Like) Starting Over’ from the album Double Fantasy. The song is very upbeat, thumping along and leaning on early rock-n-roll tropes. It relates an awakened feeling, a desire for something new to be true, a chance to begin again. Something perhaps we are all considering, as we reemerge in a post-pandemic world. Shortly after Double Fantasy was released, John Lennon was killed. In my lifetime, that was the first time I had experienced a kind of global grieving. Starting over is about optimism and hope, but it is also about grieving our losses, which is often why we start over:
A tree can be a friend to another tree, in the sense that one tree can help another tree and they might spend a lifetime together, side-by-side. Humanity is not one thing, and the world another. We share in the experience of the tree by knowing the tree, we share in the losses and new life around us.
Language is inadequate to describe our experiences: however shared, words fall short and create limits and boundaries. I prefer poetry. But mostly, images. Suffice. With the pictures I make, I hope to share something beyond language, multiple truths; truths unique to an individual and others-- ubiquitous yet unspoken. The poetic truth and the mythic truth can exist simultaneously, at once revealed and concealed. You can see something for what it is, what it depicts, or you can see something for more than it is. And you can see something for what it means to you.
- Michael Krueger 2021
Grounded firmly in drawing, Michael Krueger works in a variety of media including, painting, drawing, printmaking, animation, and ceramics. His ideas dictate the media and he floats freely between them. Michael’s artwork reflects a deep interest in American history, contemporary American culture, art history, the human experience, and personal memoir. The psychic potential of drawing and the permeating ways in which the quality of a line or a smudge can affect and reflect the human psyche are at the forefront of his creative practice. His work explores a collective need to get higher, get lost, and be transformed. His artwork has been included in over 300 exhibitions, and recent solo exhibitions include prestigious venues such as: Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA, Sunday L.E.S., New York, NY, Blackburn 20/20, New York, NY and the Dolphin Gallery, KCMO. Important group exhibitions include, The Drawing Center, New York, NY, KRETS Gallery, Malmo, Sweden, The Denver Museum of Art, Denver, CO, Ambacher Contemporary, Munich, Germany, Glasgow Print Studio, Scotland, UK, Adam Baumgold, New York, NY, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Philadelphia, PA and the Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA.
Published on the occasion of Michael's show, a 52 page full color catalog contains Michael's full statement, an essay by David Cateforis, and art direction / design by Timothy Hossler. All works in the exhibition are reproduced in the catalog. The catalog can be ordered on Blurb.
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