Treatyse by Karen Kunc

This book is a hybrid form in process and media that grafts and complies vignettes alluding to historical texts on gardening. The images are graphically vibrant, with inherent energies and rhythmic flow of natural progressions and ornamentation, suggesting the ‘tree of life’, twinning vines, the philosophers stone, and cascading floral abundance. Between are ‘horror vacui’ spaces of text-like swirls and watermarked light writing. Minimal color gradations highlight the structure and flow of the book, while dots & circles activate the eye, and serve as attention points and an alternative language of handmarks, or notations. All brings to mind gatherings of illuminations on specialized knowledge and ‘natural magic’.

Artist Bio

Karen Kunc’s prints and artists books stem from her contemplation of the forces of the natural world, ephemeral encounters and the immeasurability of time and distance. Her unique style of printing records the process of destruction and creation inherent in reduction woodcut, and as an artist she takes on an omniscient role as evolutionary choices move toward the resolution of her images. Karen Kunc was born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1975, and her MFA from Ohio State University in 1977. She is Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she has taught from 1983-2020. Her works have been shown in exhibitions nationally and internationally: The National Academy Museum, NY; Sheldon Museum of Art; Davidson Galleries, Seattle; Krakow Print Triennial, Poland; Excellence, Chamalieries, France; Invisible Cities, Ca’ Zenobio, Venice, Italy; Galerija Art 55, Nis, Serbia; Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis; ARTag Gallery, Helsinki, Finland. Her prints and artists books are in numerous public collections: Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Library of Congress; New York Public Library; Stanford University; Milwaukee Art Museum; Haas Arts Library Yale University; Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland; Huntington Museum, WV; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; Zimmerlie Art Museum Rutgers University; Cleveland Museum of Art; Honolulu Museum of Art; Joslyn Art Museum. She has taught workshops around the world, in Egypt, Italy, Finland, Poland, Japan, France, Mexico, Iceland, Bangladesh, Spain; and she has lectured as a visiting artist to over 200 institutions, including: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, University of Tennessee, University of Georgia, Cornell University, American University Cairo, Academy of Art Helsinki Finland, University of Virginia, Kyoto Seika University Japan. She has served as juror of selection for national competitions, and has organized and curated exhibitions of prints that have traveled to France, Egypt, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy and Bangladesh. She is the director/owner of Constellation Studios, Lincoln, Nebraska, a creative work-site for print, paper, and book, inviting artists for residencies, workshops, exhibitions, print publishing and project collaborations.