Kris Kuksi/ Kris Kuksi

United States 1973

Painting, Drawing, Assemblage Art

kuksi.com

Kris Kuksi
Kris Kuksi
Male
United States
1973

One of the most distinguished sculptors alive today and one of the leading artists in the field of fantastic realism, Kris Kuksi uses the assemblage to make highly detailed and rich sculptures that comment on history, life, death, spiritual conflict, and fleeting childhood memories. He creates his eerie and astonishing sculptural pieces from found objects or items such as small toys and mechanical components. Amongst sculptural assemblages, Kuksi is also an accomplished painter whose wildly unpredictable and rich pieces have been exhibited in numerous individual and collective shows throughout the United States and beyond.

The Deadly Sins works arts featured 2011 view
Kris Kuksi – The Deadly Sins

Early Years and Academic Background

Born in 1973, in Springfield, the third largest city in the state of Missouri, Kuksi was raised his mother, an alcoholic stepfather and two older brothers in an isolated, rural part of Kansas. He spent a lot of time alone, playing with Star Wars action figures. There was little external stimulation or distraction so the artist early started creating his own imagined world of bestial animal-faced military, structures in a state of crumbling majesty, and mythical divinity. Although he made his first assemblage in 1995 it took him until 2004 to make the second one titled Parasite and Host. From there his practice has evolved into inimitable and unique sculptural style. Kuksi earned his BFA in Studio Painting in 1998 from Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS. Three years later he completed a seminar on Studio Painting at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. Additionally, he was awarded an MFA in Studio Painting from Fort Hays State University in 2002. He also studied internationally while enrolled in programs in Germany, Austria, and Italy.

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Kris Kuksi – Psychotropic Comparative Anatomy, 2006

Assemblages by Kris Kuksi

Kuksi’s surreal artworks are quite unique in that they are not assembled from conventional materials. Composed of the bones of dead model kits and figures, wood, jewelry, model railroading structures and accessories, resins, sculpting compounds, modeling pastes, rocks, gravel, sand, and lots of other miscellaneous items, his Baroque and Rococo-influenced assemblages seem to splinter out like sculptural fractals, each component fused to another object or detail even smaller and intricate. Inspired by modern Western civilization driven by the imperatives of industrialism, Kuksi creates mixed-media sculptures that serve as a constant reminder of human frailty. His work has often been compared to religious altarpieces and the proto-surrealist pieces of a Dutch painter and draftsman Hieronymus Bosch.

Kris Kuksi creates mixed-media sculptures that serve as a reminder of human frailty

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Kris Kuksi – A Presumptuously Pagan Celebration, 2013

Art, War and Religion

Kuksi’s inspiration comes from mythology, religion, and events from our time, the war, corruption, death, and degeneration. One of his most popular creations is the series of sculptures titled Churchtanks. The artist explored the link between war and religion by making stunning church buildings combined with powerful military tanks blending the two structures smoothly and seamlessly. His unique artworks make people think about religion and war. Churchtanks thus represent the power of art to enchant and simultaneously to raise awareness.

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Kris Kuksi – Churchtank #1 (Left) / Churchtank #2 (Right)

Exhibitions and Publications

Kris Kuksi has participated in over a hundred of individual and collective exhibitions and special events throughout the world. Some of his solo shows were held at Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NY; Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA; Meta Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Optic Nerve Arts Gallery, Portland, Oregon; and Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, Kansas. Recently, his work was featured in group show Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular hosted by the Morbid Anatomy Museum in NY. In 2011, Kuksi published a 140-page book entitled Divination and Delusion. It collects not just the assemblages by Kuksi but some paintings as well. The book contains photos that both show the details of his pieces as well as photos that show their overall scope. His work was featured in numerous magazines, book covers and theatrical posters.

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Kris Kuksi – Leda and the Swan, 2014

Stories Behind Kuksi’s Sculptures

Over the years, Kuksi has developed an original and specific approach to art making which brought him international recognition among both contemporaries and collectors. His incredibly dramatic, emotional, witty, and creative works – composed of waste and discarded materials – are so exquisite and compound that the observers can stand in front of them for hours trying to find out all the details and stories behind them. They bring us themes that range from corruption, violence, chaos, degeneration, to those that examine religious belief and iconography, and the artist’s personal view of our turbulent world.

The artist is represented by Joshua Liner Gallery.

Kris Kuksi lives and works in Lawrence, Kansas.

Featured image: Kris Kuksi in front one of his pieces
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Kris Kuksi. New WorksLawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas, USASolo
2015AmalgamationJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2015Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and VernacularMorbid Anatomy Museum, New York, New YorkGroup
2015TBAJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2014Antiquity in the FauxMark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CaliforniaSolo
2013RevivalJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2013Direct Address: An Inaugural Group ExhibitionJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2012Pulse Art FairThe Ice Palace, Miami, FloridaGroup
2012Summer Group ExhibitionJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2012Cheer Up! It’s not the end of the world…Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2012Go West: Kris KuksiMark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CaliforniaGroup
2012Beauty, It’s not PrettyGrand theatre Center for the Arts, Tracy, CaliforniaGroup
2012Kingdom AnimaliaLand Rover, Anaheim Hills, CaliforniaGroup
2012Les Enfants TerriblesSpacejunk Art Center, Bayonne, FranceGroup
2012TriumphJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2011Pulse Art FairThe Ice Palace, Miami, FloridaGroup
2011Cute and CreepyFlorida State University Museum of Art, Tallahasse, FloridaGroup
2011Hey! Modern Art & Pop CultureHalle Saint Pierre, Paris, FranceGroup
2011Pulse Art FairL.A. Live, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2011The New Craftsmanship: Iris van HerpenCentraal Museum, Utrecht, NetherlandsGroup
2011Travis Louie and Kris KuksiRoq La Rue Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2011DystopiaCopro-Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2011Conjoined – in 3D!, w-Chet Zar, and othersCopro-Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2010Scope Art FairMiami, FloridaGroup
2010Lowbrow Tarot ShowLa Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2010The Blab! ShowCopro Nason, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2010Summer Group ShowJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2010Scope Art FairBasel, SwitzerlandSolo
2010Meticulous EngagementsSan Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2010High Fructose Group Show: OverdoseCopro Nason, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2010Lush Life 2Roq La Rue Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2009Scope Art FairArt Basel, Miami, FloridaGroup
2009Beast AnthologyJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2009SteampunkMuseum of the History of Science-Unversity of Oxford, Oxford, EnglandGroup
2009The 13th HourLast Rites Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2009Carnival of FiresGallery 5, Richmond, VirginiaGroup
2009The Blab ShowCopro-Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2009Kansas Master’s InvitationalStrecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, KansasGroup
2009Monster?Copro-Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2009Summer Group Show ‘09Stolen Space, London, EnglandGroup
2009Divine InvasionMeta Gallery, Toronto, OntarioSolo
2009OverdoseCopro Nason, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2008ScopeArt Basel-Miami, Miami, FloridaGroup
2008Imminent UtopiaJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2008New WorksShooting Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2008The 13th HourLast Rites Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2008MapmakersMeta Gallery, Toronto, OntarioGroup
2008Paradise LostWilliamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2008Locked and LoadedJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2007Art Basel-MiamiMiami, FloridaGroup
2007Illusions of RealityStrecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, KansasGroup
2007Salon MacabreStrychnin Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2007Cologne Liste, Cologne Art FairCologne, GermanyGroup
2007Four PlayLineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGroup
2007OblivionStrychnin Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2007Dark Hearts and Broken VowsStrychnin Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2007Winter FactionLineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGroup
2006Faculty Art ExhibitionMoss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, KansasGroup
2006Be Angel, Strange, Salon Comparaisons 2006Grand Palais, ParisGroup
2006Be Angel, Strange, International Fantastic Show Chimeria 2006Sedan, FranceGroup
2006Up!Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGroup
2006The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition ExhibtionSmithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Wasington, DCJuried
2006Flights of ImaginationH.R. Giger Museum-Chateau St. Germain, Gruyères, SwitzerlandJuried
2006Person to Person: A Group Figurative ExhibitStrecker-Nelson Art Gallery, Manhattan, KansasGroup
2006Old Master’s New Visions Seminar ExhibitionThe Alte Stadthalle Galleries, Veichtach, GermanyGroup
2006Contemporary MandalasChapel of Sacred Mirrors-Microcosm Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2006Inter-dimensional Art MovementGallery of the Senses, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2006Smoky Hill Art ExhibitionHays Arts Center, Hays, KansasJuried
2006Non-Representational On-Line ExhibitionArt-Exchange.comJuried
2006Juxtaposition On-Line ExhibitionArtrom Gallery, Rome, ItalyJuried
20068th Annual All Media International Juried Online Art ExhibitionUpstream People Gallery, Omaha, NebraskaJuried
2005Annual Artrom Gallery 2005 International On-Line CompetitionArtrom Gallery, Rome, ItalyJuried
2005TetanusFahrenheit Gallery, Kansas City, MissouriGroup
2005Annual Faculty Art ExhibitionMoss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, KansasGroup
2005What is FreedomGallery of Social and Political Art, Boston, MassachusettsJuried
2005Old Master’s-New Visions Art ExhibitionDas Alte Rathaus, Viechtach, GermanyGroup
2005Inter-dimensional Art MovementGallery of the Senses, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2005Fantastic 2005: International On-line ExhibitionArtrom Gallery, Rome, ItalyJuried
2005Contemporary DrawingsFraser Gallery, Washington D.C.Group
20057th Annual All Media Juried Online International Art ExhibitionUpstream People Gallery, Omaha, NebraskaGroup
2004Beyond Boundaries: International on-line competition and ExhibitionArtrom Gallery, Rome, ItalyJuried
2004The Strange and the FantasticLeedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, MissouriSolo
2004Fantastic VisionsLimner Gallery, Phoenicia, New YorkJuried
2004Art Visionary ExhibitionBallarat Regional Gallery, Ballarat, AustraliaGroup
2004Just a TasteMonarch Sculpture Park, Olympia, WashingtonGroup
2004Inter-dimensional Art MovementGallery of the Senses, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2004The Great PassageOptic Nerve Arts Gallery, Portland, OregonSolo
2004Art Visionary ExhibitionManning Regional Art Gallery, Taree, AustraliaGroup
2004Art Visionary ExhibitionRiddoch Art Gallery, Mount Gambier, AustraliaGroup
2003Grave MattersRoc La Rue Gallery, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2003Brave Destiny Grand Surrealism ShowWilliamsburg Art & Historical Center, New York, New YorkJuried
2003Art Visionary ExhibitionOrange County Regional Gallery, Orange, AustraliaGroup
2003Painting in Dali’s Garden-Seminar ExhibitionVilla Arenella, Cadaques, SpainGroup
2003Art Visionary ExhibitionGlobal Arts Link Ipswitch Regional Gallery, Ipswitch, Brisbane, AustraliaGroup
2003Figure PaintingsThe Fraser Gallery, Bethesda, MarylandGroup
2003The Mythic Questwww.dracoblu.com, May, Juried
2003Inter-dimensional Art MovementGallery of the Senses, Seattle, WashingtonGroup
2003Spring Salon International Exhibition 2003Limner Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2003The WithinThe Fraser Gallery, Washington, D.C.Solo
2002National Fall Exhibition 2002Impact Artists Gallery, Buffalo, New YorkJuried
2002The Dreamer and the Dreamedwww.dracoblu.com, August, Juried
2002Artists in ActionGarden Art Center, Lubbock, TexasJuried
2002Old Masters New VisionsCastle Kuenburg, Reichenau, AustriaGroup
2002Northern National Juried Art Exhibit 2002Nicolet Area Technical College Art Gallery, Rhinelander, WisconsinJuried
2002Toward the Within MFA ExhibitionMoss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, KansasSolo
2002Fifteenth Annual International Exhibition on Animals in ArtVeterinary Medicine Library, Baton Rouge, LouisianaJuried
2002International Drawing Exhibition 2002University of Hawaii at Hilo Campus Center Gallery, Hilo, HawaiiGroup
2002Art of the Imagination ExhibitionCork Street Gallery, London, EnglandJuried
2002Emerging Artists 2002 International ExhibitionLimner Gallery, New York, New YorkJuried
2002Seven State BiennialLeslie Powell Art Gallery, Lawton, OklahomaJuried
2002National Oil and Acrylic ExhibitionSt. Louis Artist Guild Gallery at Knoll Park, Clayton, MissouriJuried
2001Seven State BiennialUniversity of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Art Gallery, Chicksha, OklahomaJuried
2001Northern National Juried Art ExhibitNicolet Area Technical College Art Gallery, Rhinelander, WisconsinJuried
200132nd Annual Smoky Hill Art Competition & ExhibitionHays Arts Center, Hays, KansasJuried
2001Visions Across ContinentsSanta Repararta International School of Fine Art, Florence, ItalyGroup
2001Fourteenth Annual International Exhibition on Animals in ArtVeterinary Medicine Library, Baton Rouge, LouisianaJuried
2001Emerging Artists 2001 International ExhibitionLimner Gallery, New York, New YorkJuried
2000Juried Art Exhibition 2000Carnegie Center for the Arts, Dodge City, KansasJuried
2000Art from Recycled Materials Juried ExhibitionSternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays, KansasGroup
20003rd Annual Juried National Art ExhibitionBaker Arts Center, Liberal, KansasJuried
2000Graduate Student Exhibition 2000Garden City Community College, Garden City, KansasGroup