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James Kielkopf (born 1939)
James Kielkopf was born in St. Paul and still lives there. He’s been working as a visual artist since graduating from MCAD in 1965, when he received the Vanderlip Award. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.
Kielkopf works with abstraction, as both subject and effect: “I came to realize that my abilities and interests lay in observing what happened on the surface I was painting or drawing,” he’s explained. “I started using a procedure, which I would predetermine and then change as I learned from what I first put down.”
“My paintings are based on arranging circles or parts of circles, which are cut out of Masonite and selected papers. These circular and curved shapes are assembled in such a way that the parts where the arcs of the circle meet form an interaction of positive and negative spaces. The colors used emphasize these interactions of positive and negative spaces that are formed.”
“I find it somewhat untrue to use the word "work" to describe the main activity of my day to day routine, and I realize that some people find it difficult to use the word "art" to describe what I do.”
Kielkopf has exhibited at the Walker Art Center Biennial, 1964 & 1966; Minneapolis Institute of Art Biennial, 1967; Interchange, Dallas Museum Fine Arts, Texas, 1972; and Martin Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, 1970s. His artwork is displayed in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, and General Mills.