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Jeff Kessel

July 1 – August 13, 2010

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 1, 6 – 8 pm


For his first solo exhibition in New York, Jeff Kessel presents a new series of multi-layered abstract paintings.  Employing a palette which ranges from dark and murky to high key color, he creates ambiguous veiled pictures.  Revealing visible signs of wiping and scraping, as well as geometric structures either floating in the foreground or submerged beneath layers of paint, Kessel’s work exposes the process by which it was constructed.  At the same time, the depth and complexity of the layering confounds, offering neither a concise nor an easy reading.


Kessel creates “conditions” within each painting which ultimately determine its particular internal logic and its unique conclusion.  This action/reaction state of painting allows for an important openness, leaving room for the work to emerge and then change into something entirely different.  Also, this mode of working creates an overarching framework for the paintings, no matter how disparate they may seem.  


Filled with chance digressions, Kessel’s paintings ebb and flow, and result in variations for new paintings.  His process involves simultaneous control and abandonment which often leads to unforeseen places.  He explains:


“In this way the paintings have a life of their own; at times, it’s necessary to step outside and let the painting just happen.  Then, to become present again to deal with the aftermath.  Sometimes the paintings just work, then they can be very succinct.  Most of the time they don’t, and the painting becomes about excavation, pulling back from the brink.”


Jeff Kessel lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  His work was recently featured in the 3-person exhibition Parallel at Bortolami Gallery, New York.


Derek Eller Gallery is located at 615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Summer hours are Tuesday - Friday from 11am - 6pm. For further information or visuals, please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411 or visit