Louisville Courier Journal

Louisville Courier Journal, Oct. 27, 2002
Diane Heilenman

The watery landscapes of American rivers become an instrument of peaceful visual meditation under the adroit brushwork of Kit-Keung Kan of Bethesda, MD. His images of water surfaces in gentle turmoil produce an effect akin to white noise.

The effect at Louisville’s B. Deemer Gallery gains power as scale increases, so that the most powerful works are the largest, producing a sensation of physical envelopment reminiscent of the effect of some Abstraction Expressionist paintings.

Kan has a long background in Chinese painting tradition and a clear interest in the process-oriented effects of calligraphy. But his paintings are an engaging mix of the romantic American landscape tradition and what might be considered a Chinese sensitivity to subtle abstraction inside apparent representation.

Kan, born in China in 1943, has a doctorate in physics from the University of Maryland and works as a nuclear physics. Painting has been a parallel interest since he was 16, and his currect series of photographic illusions are a mature poetic appreciation he ask the viewers to share.

Like deep water that is restless on top but profoundly quiet below, Kan’s works ponder both the poetry of the art of painting and the grandeur of nature.

White Water Series III continues through Nov. 5 at the gallery, 2650 Frankfort Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. tp 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.