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"Using wide, generously loaded brushes and rich, bright colors, this artist, based in Washington State, creates appealing traditionalist weddings of painterly materialism and radiant illusionism." -Ken Johnson, The New York Times
"What distinguishes these paintings is not so much the subject matter as the sophistication of their pictorial language." - Gary Faigin, National Public Radio (http://www.kurtsolmssen.net/)
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, B.F.A. 1986
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, Certificate 1982
William Emlen Cresson Scholarship 1983 (http://kurtsolmssen.net/pages/resume/education.html)
Gary Faigin says of Kurt Solmssen’s work, “Though a realist, Kurt Solmssen does not so much record what he sees, as use his surroundings as a point of departure for poetic homages to waterside life, the delights of color and light, and the joys of the loaded brush. His paintings are rich, fluid, and celebratory. Obtrusive elements - either human or natural - are kept out of the frame of view, or like those beachfront homes, edited away. The family activities are always calm and genial, the weather generally, though not always, sunny.”
Solmssen is the realist of an idyllic world. He reminds fortunate viewers of ideal moments existing within their grasp. Bold use of primary colors and painterly details overwhelm scenes with nostalgia for the every day. These qualities also reveal the artist’s delight with the scene and medium, heightening viewer enjoyment. Viewing Solmssen’s work, one revels in the warmth of his sun, the coolness of his shade, and the painterly brushstrokes that reinforce the significance of the scene, justifying its memory. (http://www.georgebillis.com/kurt-solmssen.html)