Kurt Lightner (b.1971, Troy, OH) is a painter and sculptor whose studio practice is one that examines his family’s history with farming in the Midwest, particularly as it relates to concepts of work and self-worth. With landscape-based visuals, he conveys the importance of his ancestral environment and the significance of generational knowledge.
Lightner received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbus College of Art and Design in 1993 and his Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, NYC in 2004. His work has been shown in museums such as MoMA PS1, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Queens Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Kurt was a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant as well as The Headlands Center for the Arts Project Studio Residency in San Fransisco. His works have been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Sculpture, and the Village Voice.
Kurt Lightner’s continued exploration into his childhood and his hometown environment of rural Ohio is evident in his paintings and sculptures. In addition to having been to all of his depicted locations in person, Lightner also relies on photographs from old family photo albums to inform his works. However, he does not seek to recreate the places in photographic detail, rather, he aims to capture an overall essence that aligns with his memories. Lightner’s paintings are the embodiment of flashbacks – concentrated spots of specific details amongst areas of clouded, fading recollections.