Kevin Karl Burger
Dec '22 Update
The Next Chapter…
The Fall '22 Pop-Up Show was a total success-- with 130 paintings finding homes during the auction, and 60+ more during our open-door weekends after the show.
Kevin’s work is truly being enjoyed in appreciative homes!
PS. The Gallery is now up to date with what is still available.
"My work turns the act of painting into a process of applying a patina -- creating something new and separate from what was originally there. The image grows through a repetitive process of erasure and recovery. What remains is the essence of the thing - that which fought to survive. To make the transformation more clear, I paint images that are themselves well known or of a familiar genre. The altered view re-presents the scene and allows one to reconsider it anew." ---- Kevin Burger
Known as a colorist who transitioned from abstraction to impressionism, Kevin Burger was primarily a self-taught painter whose work suggests dialogue between line, shape, subdued emotions, and transforming color. Most of his subjects were either familiar landscape scenes or abstract movement.
Kevin received an early, founding education in art at the Byam Shaw Art School in London, England, where he became interested in abstract painting. After spending a year in Paris, studying and painting, Kevin moved back to the States and spent several years between Los Angeles and New York City exploring the art scenes and developing his own artistic voice. He eventually settled in New York City, living in an apartment in the East Village, and painting in a studio in Brooklyn.
In 1984, Kevin worked in the studio of Louise Bourgeois, which began a long-term friendship with the world-famous sculptor. In May 1999, Ms. Bourgeois hosted an exhibition at her studio, "The Bridge and The Tower," featuring Kevin’s “Eiffel Tower” series.
Kevin was also fortunate to have found a supportive patron of his art in Martha Stewart. Kevin began working for Ms. Stewart as her production assistant in about 1992, and she encouraged his art and remained a close personal friend throughout his life. Ms. Stewart hosted a “25-Year Retrospective” show of Kevin’s work in July 2005. In addition, Kevin’s work was featured in several publications, including: Martha Stewart Living, May, 2007, “Thinking Pink”; Martha Stewart Living, February, 2000, “Six Lessons for Decorating a Mantel”;
and Blueprint, Summer, 2006, “Full House.”
Kevin was “at the top of his game,” as he had said, when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. After a three-year fight, Kevin passed away in January 2006. A memorial web site was established and dedicated to him: www.kevinburger.com . It includes photographs gathered from friends and family, tributes, as well as cataloged reproductions of many of his remaining paintings. If you are interested in viewing or purchase, you may find more information at: www.kevinkarlburgerart.com
Kevin Burger - A 25-Year Retrospective,” held at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia corporate offices, New York, NY, in July 2005.
“Kevin had an exquisite eye for color and a sophisticated sense of design. Kevin’s paintings are both rich and understated, which makes them ideal centerpieces around which to build a room. I am privileged to own a number of Kevin’s paintings, which I continue to value, both for what they evoke aesthetically, and as reminders of the friendship we shared.”
--- Martha Stewart
One of her design tactics was to create a continuous wash of ambient color throughout the guesthouse. The mirror frame above the fireplace, for example, was painted the same pink as the cottage’s walls and trims. Allusions to Italy, Venice especially, are another recurring theme —one that’s right at ease with the coastal Maine setting. Martha chose a large-scale painting of a Venetian lagoon, by her friend Kevin Burger, to hang in the dining room…
— As seen in Martha Stewart Living, May 2007 issue, “Thinking Pink.”
-- As seen in Martha Stewart Living, February 2000 issue, “Six Lessons for Decorating a Mantel.”
“Kevin's paintings reveal both his shyness and his sensitivity.
His work was reserved and yet remarkably powerful.
- Louise Bourgeois
Brooklyn Bridge (Nr. 0410)
Oil on canvas, stretched
30” x 40”
Eiffel Tower (Nr. 0095)
Oil on canvas board
24” x 18”
Wave (Nr. 0442)
Oil on canvas, stretched
70” x 46”
Still Life (Nr. 0443)
Oil on canvas, stretched
72” x 44”
erasure and recovery
A sequential gallery of all remaining paintings. From an estimated total body of work of over 700 paintings, approximately 450 remained in Kevin's studio in Williamsburg, NY at the time of his passing. Generously, Kevin’s friend, John Hopkins, undertook the job of photographing and cataloging each of the remaining paintings to capture and honor Kevin’s legacy. Many of the remaining paintings are presently in Seattle, WA where they are stored, displayed, and promoted.
Kevin had a wonderful eye for color and his talents lay in creating and expressing this sensibility in his life’s work. His work has been featured in several Martha Stewart Living publications and his eye for color is acknowledged by Martha with helping to isolate the subtle color scheme for her Bedford Gray estate. While Kevin never stated directly, there seems to be a growing theme or movement in many genres of his work— a swoop, or slope, such as seen in Eiffel Tower, Brooklyn Bridge, Mt. Fuji, and Waves. Was this an artistic focus or pleasing and comfortable motion of the painter’s hand? Departing from this, the last genre that Kevin created was his body of Venice paintings. Kevin loved Venice, a mysterious city which he had many occasions to visit and embrace due to his aunt Rosemary owning a holiday apartment there.
Kevin was averse to pretension and self-promotion, which limited his ability to share his work with the greater art world and public. Kevin would jest, “I am not so much an artist as I am in the art storage business.” With his passing, Kevin’s brother James now wishes to honor his legacy and the wish made during his failing health… working to promote and find good homes for his work. If you are interested in learning more about any of the works shown, please refer to the index number with each painting and drop a note to James at firstname.lastname@example.org.