Michael Krueger: Summer Winter Fall Spring

Artist Michael Krueger creates a dreamlike walk through disjointed seasons for the exhibition Summer Winter Fall Spring. Haw Contemporary, from September 8 through October 14, is hosting a collection of Krueger’s work that explores the seasons themselves and the slow changes between them.

Michael Krueger is primarily a printmaker, and uses printmaking techniques, such as stenciling, to create the paintings in this exhibition. His works for Summer Winter Fall Spring are acrylic on linen, but many of those paintings take on a more sculptural identity. In pieces such as Cane, Cane, 2017, acrylic on linen, the canvas is reshaped into a cutout of the cane, leaving no foreground, background, or internal context just an isolated image of a cane alone to interact with the space as both painting and sculpture. This blurring of distinction between print, painting and sculpture serves to further the feeling of dreaminess and memories almost lost in the passage of time.

In his painting Fall, 2017, acrylic on linen, Krueger is able to evoke a kind of shared youthful American memoir: watching the leaves slowly turn and fall from the trees. Fall is a large painting (58” x 82”) of 8 leaves all thickly painted brilliant red, yellow, and orange falling in front of a cool indigo to green gradient. The bright leaves pop against the cool background and make to viewer feel the slipping of summer to the chills of fall and winter. The canvas, itself a reference to a projector slide or old television screen, has curved edges that seem to signal that we are watching something rather than experiencing the action first-hand to further the feeling of walking through a dreamy collection of memories.

The scattered passage of time is felt through the gallery. Walking from piece to piece breaks up narrative and lets the viewer get lost in each painting. Some works are isolated on large blank walls dwarfed by sheer space while others are brought together in an alter to some unknown childhood memory. Summer brings the viewer back to hot months of playing outside and catching insects, Snow Drive lets us again be hypnotized by snowflakes trailing through headlights toward the windshield. This idea, that fragments of experiences form our memory or personal history, is perhaps best said in the artist’s own prosaic statement:

“The story is the same as it ever was.
It is a story of the seasons.
A narrative too complex to unravel.
No sense to make.

Things are mixed up,
not in the right places
but the pieces
are there.”

All these works are floating memories scattered through experiences like the disjointed seasons for which the show is named. Marked by the seasons, Michael Krueger is successful in examining how we look back on the passing of time in times passed.

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