James K.Y. Kuo

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James K.Y. Kuo (Chinese-American, 1920-1995) noted abstract-expressionist artist, painter, ceramicist/sculptor, jewelry maker, lecturer and respected teacher primarily known for his paintings in; acrylic, acrylic collage, gouache collage, watercolor and applied copper or silver on mediums such as; brass, textured nickel & wood. Early on, Kuo was influenced by Shih-t'ao and Chu Ta, the "Individualists" who became monks in 17th Century China as well as by the American abstract expressionists. His bold brush strokes of flat muted colors could be very abstract but never far from the natural world.

With encouragement from his father, Kuo studied traditional Chinese painting at the Suzhou Art Institute in Suzhou, China, and also at the Anqing School of Art, Anqing, China. A direct inheritor of ink painting traditions, he left the political upheavals of China and emigrated to the US in 1947 and received his Masters in painting at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, in 1949. In the same year, he began teaching at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI, and taught there from 1949-1952. He later taught at Rosary Hill College (now Daemen College), as Professor Emeritus, Amherst, NY, from 1955-1992.

Over the course of his long career he won several prizes and had many successful solo and group exhibitions at places such as; Wang Ling Art Gallery, Anqing, China; the Fu Hang Art Center, Suzhou, China; the China Institute, NYC; the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Daemen College, Amherst, NY; Chautauqua National Exhibition of American Art & Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY; Gallery Without Walls, Buffalo, NY; and the More-Rubin Gallery, Buffalo, NY, among others. His work can be found in many museums and also many public & private collections around the world.

Artist Statement:

“My subject matter is close to nature. It is the common things we see every day. But we see them through the minds eye rather than the physical eye…Form without content is meaningless. Form and content are absolutely inseparable and should blend in perfect unity…I respect traditions, but I have been an artist of my own time.” -James K.Y. Kuo

Chronology:

1920- Born, December 25, Suzhou (or Soochow), China.

circa late 1930-s-early 40’s- Studied at the Suzhou Art Institute in Suzhou, China.

1946- Exhibited, solo show, Wang Ling Art Gallery, Anqing, China.

1947- Exhibited, solo show, Fu Hang Art Center, Suzhou, China. Emigrated to the United States.

1949- Studied at the University of Missouri (received M.A. Painting), Columbia, MO.

1949-1952- Taught at Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI.

1950- Exhibited, solo show, Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI.

1952- Exhibited, solo show, China Institute, NYC.

1955-1992- Taught at Rosary Hill College (now Daemen College), as Professor Emeritus, Amherst, NY.

1955- Exhibited, solo show, Rosary Hill College, Amherst, NY.

1957- Exhibited, solo show, Rosary Hill College, Amherst, NY.

1960- Exhibited, solo show, Rosary Hill College, Amherst, NY.

1962, Exhibited, group show, “Chautauqua National Exhibition of American Art”, (prize), Chautauqua, NY.

1965- Exhibited, group show, “Chautauqua National Exhibition of American Art”, (prize), Chautauqua, NY.

1966- Exhibited, solo show, Members’ Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1970- Exhibited, solo show, Lakeview Art Gallery, Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Gallery Without Walls, Buffalo, NY.

1971- Exhibited, solo show, Gallery Without Walls, Buffalo, NY.

1973-1976- Exhibited, solo shows, Gallery Without Walls, Buffalo, NY.

1978- Exhibited, solo show, More-Rubin Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1980- Exhibited, solo show, More-Rubin Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1985- Exhibited, solo show, Members’ Gallery, Albright-Know Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1991- Exhibited, solo show, Elliot Museum, Stuart, FL.

1995- Died, January 20, Amherst, NY.

November 1997- January 1998- Exhibited, solo show, “A Retrospective”, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Fanette Goldman/Carolyn Greenfield Gallery, Daemen College, Amherst, NY.

Collections: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY; China Institute, NYC; Elliot Museum, Stuart, FL; Fleet Bank, Buffalo, NY; Graphic Controls Corporation, Buffalo, NY; Hodgson, Russ, Andrews, Woods & Goodyear LLP, Buffalo, NY; Hyatt Regency, Buffalo, NY; John and Laughlin Steel Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA; M&T Bank, Buffalo, NY; Occidental Chemical Corp., Niagara Falls, NY; Penn Bank, Titusville, PA; Quakers Oats Corporation, Chicago, IL; and the State University College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

Publications: China’s Gentry: Essays in rural-urban relations with Six Life-Histories of Chinese Gentry Families, by Xiaotong Fei (or Hsiao-tung Fei), with illustrations based on drawings from James K.Y. Kuo, The University of Chicago, University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London, 1953.

For additional information on this artist or for other possible examples of his works, please visit the AskArt link

(Rewritten in parts & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., meibohmfinearts.com, sources: Furnished upon request.)
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