Artist Statement -



I find painting goes beyond the notion that painted reality is “nothing but “ a precursor to a photographic realism. Painting is a phenomenological experiment. There is a synthesis between the visual and the kinesthetic that forms a powerful third range of human perception. Human space and form are not purely optical manifestations. The painting of mass and line can provoke a muscle sense, a physical ness between viewer and the painted relationships. Hans Hoffman called this “Push-Pull”. Matisse referred to this as the convexity of pictorial space. In this “meta-vision” or “minds-eye” the painter is not freed from the experience of perspective and local color and the naturalistic geometry of the objects and scenes. Rather, the painter can be liberated by the experience and knowledge of the defining aspects of human reality.

Vision encompasses the obvious factors of sight along with other less obvious paths to sensing reality. Human vision is based on a plasticity of structures that tell us more than what a photograph can convey. The visual system, governed by layers of logical relationships, goes much further than a photo interpretation of reality. Painters like Courbet and Cézanne understood these logical relationships as they rejected the establishment of a new French academic painting style that had begun to incorporate a photo-centric aesthetic. We see in these revolutionary painters an understanding of classical painting where the reality or meta-reality of a long tradition is almost lost. This tadition, carried on by Matisse and Picasso, ripe with cubistic and anamorphic distortion is often lost on modern audiences who have become unintentionally confused and miss lead. We have begun to think painting can be based on unskilled postmodern rejections of the past because the rules were abolished. Anything but that is true. There are still the universal and particular realities of human perception to be considered in painting. It is this timeless quality of painting based on a tradition of painters study of human vision needs to be continually renewed with each generation of painters.

We need to try to regain the hidden logic of realism once more. This logic, one discovers, is a metaphor for the recursive boundary between painter and the subject. The more intuited convexity and physicality hold a stark contrast to our contemporary photo centric, cropped off and flat boxy world-view. In a painting there can be kinesthesia not found in photos. Painting can be about the stereoscopic compressions, the peripheral spatial expansions, the anamorphic distortions and the hidden structures that to an observer incase those aspects integral with human feeling. I recommend young painters paint from that internal sense of a meta-reality the total visual system provides.

BIOGRAPHY: Timothy J. King

March 2007
E d u c a t i o n

MFA-Master of Fine Arts– Painting & Drawing–2006, Northern Illinois University

MA-Master of Arts– Painting 1985, The University of Tulsa

BFA-Bachelor of Fine Arts– Painting 1981, Kansas City Art Institute

Foundations Studies– 1975-1976, Columbus Collage of Art & Design

T e a c h i n g

Loyola University Chicago. 2006 -
Current— Adjunct Professor of Art.

Illinois Institute of Art, Schaumburg. 2006 -
Current — Adjunct Instructor of Art.

Northern Illinois University. 2004 - 2007
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art.

Henderson State University, Arkansas. 1990 - 1991—
Adjunct Professor of Art.

The University of Tulsa. 1982 — 1983 Teaching Assistant in Painting, printmaking and Instructor of Record of drawing,

I have been a landscape and figurative painter for nearly 30 years. I have been living in Chicago and Elgin since 1992. I was born in Baltimore but I grew up in Lawton and then Tulsa, Oklahoma. I attended art school in Columbus, Ohio for my first year (Columbus College of Art & Design). On good advise from my painting teacher (Mr. Fullum) at CCAD I transferred to study painting at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976.

CCAD was an excellent school to study foundations. It was more modernist conceptually and visually and less postmodernist than KCAI’s foundations program. CCAD had an excellent 2-D/3-D/color-design foundation. It also had a great Structural Drawing and Anatomy drawing foundation. At CCAD the foundations assignments were designed to be problematic and a bit confusing in wording. It forced students to collaborate and share concepts so solutions could be obtained. It certainly was one way to achieve a social problem solving experience. It was never made clear that this was legal and we often felt like we were cheating, like we were plagiarizing one another. That was a negative but the collaborative experience I found was one of the best preparations I have ever had for the work world. At CCAD I had one foundations drawing and painting teacher that gave me my first real introduction to conceptualizing drawing as simile and as interspatial form. I now call this the Dynamic Rock Structure Problem. It is still one of the best drawing lessons I have ever had.

As it turned out foundations at CCAD actually complemented my studies in KCAI’s strong observational painting program. For many decades KCAI had been well known as one of the best figurative painting schools in the nation. Soon I was painting and studying with Lester Goldman, Wilbur Niewald and Stanley Lewis. It was clear this was a magical time to be at KCAI. From this faculty at KCAI I learned many great lessons in drawing, painting and color.

In Lester Goldman’s studio I copied Tintereto and for the first time sensed the formal structure of great painting. Lester taught me many observations about the old masters relating to painterly form, drama and light. I remember an important drawing lesson from Lester in which he helped me conceive the model initially as a silhouette. I was to draw all body parts reversed as if drawing from the other side from which I couldn’t really see. This forced me to project relationships from my intuitive memory of complex structures off the models silhouette. The result was a sense of dimensionality and structure that I had never grasped before. This was a key beginning to the way I have experienced space and form ever since.

While in Wilbur Niewald’s studio, I adopted a vision that was unique to his students. And more importantly, Wilbur gave me my holistic painterly philosophy. From his teachings came my strong sense of nature and the relationship of vision to nature. Color shape became the problem for me when painting while outline began to diminish as my vehicle to drawing in paint. I was learning to see the shapes that enveloped objects. At a later lesson I began to see that light was now my real guide. I remember Wilbur keying up the color of my painting to a higher level with one brush stroke of strong red on the face of the model in my painting. Before that moment I didn’t see that color in the model. It is a lesson I always try to follow.

While studying with Stanley Lewis I was shown what I call the “Painter’s Form.” It is another term for interspatial figure-ground shift from perceptual experience. He showed me through the observation of the great Dutch Masters still life and landscape pictures, concepts about the old masters that made me realize how to draw for myself the forms I had experienced in copying those paintings. It became apparent these pictures interwove perceptual realism and plastic abstraction. Stanley was showing me the paradoxical and fringe aspects of the multi layered human visual system and how to transfer that system to painting. Ever since this lesson the structure and form of my painting has become ever more a holistic, conceptually connected to the universal and insightful of classical forming traditions in painting.

I am forever grateful for the profound and overlapping painting and drawing lessons, advanced artistic meanings and a vision of a human scale to beauty, all gained from Goldman, Niewald and Lewis. It was, for me, the key factor in my advancement that I studied with three masters rather than with only one.

Even before leaving KCAI I adopted another couple of mentors. One, Nathaniel (Tan) Larrabee, at first indirectly and later directly, led me to a great deal of thinking about painting and art. My older brother Walter who had always been my mentor on all levels of growing up and in the study of art is still my closest confidant. Nathaniel Larrabee was the painter my brother Walter studied with at CCAD. Later the two became colleagues after Walter began teaching Illustration there. Through all the years Walter and I were sharing art school experiences, (He entered study at CCAD the year I transferred to KCAI), Walter included for me the ideas and lessons Larrabee was teaching him. Even today I gain new tidbits from Walter’s memories of his lessons with Tan. Directly I enjoy discussions with Tan now. Eventually my brother’s friendship with Tan became my own. Interestingly, in many ways, my own painting is closer to Tan’s than is Walters. In matters of Art and painting, I find it is in our differences between Walter and myself that we often are able to discover the most about painting and art.

After graduation from KCAI in 1981, I pursued my Masters degree in my hometown at the University of Tulsa. I was a graduate TA for two years, which included teaching a Drawing 100 level class. I also did assistantship work in painting studio and printmaking studio. I took my time to paint and research an important discovery for me; that the binocular visual system can be imaged in a structural aspect of holistic pictorial space. Since I thought this was an original contribution that I could make to my own way of painting I decided to write a Masters Thesis on the subject, which took an additional two years beyond the core program. I published the thesis and graduated in 1985 with an MA in painting. I have since built on these ideas and continue to study and paint based on the principles and axiom I learned and invented for the thesis.

This same year I graduated with my MA I married my wife Elizabeth and started a video production and graphic design career at the American Airlines Maintenance Training Base. After 4 years at American we transferred with Elizabeth’s company to Little Rock Arkansas. Here I worked for the State of Arkansas as a graphic designer and animator for 4 years. While there I taught two semesters of design at Henderson State University.

We moved to Chicago in 1994 and then Elgin two years later. I spent 6 years in the Chicago area as a designer and art director working in corporate marketing first as an animation producer and then as a print art director. I then moved into the field of direct marketing and finally over to business-to-business advertising. The last 5 years I have worked as a freelance art director. I currently design only part time while the rest of my time (before entering NIU’s MFA program) is spent painting and promoting my painting career. I am a co-founder of the Midwest Paint Group. This group consists of six painters, five of whom studied within five years of each other at KCAI. We are all concerned with similar figurative interspatial painting issues. I am the designer and web master for the group’s Internet gallery and group site ( I recently designed and built my current studio behind my house. Elizabeth and I have two children, Mitchell nearly 3 and Helen 7. We live in a vintage community and own a 1929 Tutor style home with an Arts and crafts interior. This is our second vintage home restoration project.

Artist Exhibitions

E x h i b i t i o n s: select solo and small group shows

2006— Prairie Spaces: encroached and reclaimed. Solo Invitational, Bowery Gallery, New York, NY

2006— Elgin Spaces: works done from the vicinity. Solo Elgin Grant exhibit, Gail Borden Library, Elgin, IL

2006— Gallery 214, Solo MFA Exhibition. Northern Illinois University. DeKalb, IL

2005— Post Abstract Figuration: Paintings of the Midwest Paint Group. Curator & Exhibitor.(6-person exhibit) Zhou B. Center, 33 Collective Gallery. Chicago, IL

2005— Timothy King and Walter King, Observed and Staged: Metaphorical Terrains, Zhou B. Center, 33 Collective Gallery. Chicago, IL

2005— Glass Gallery, Life Whispers, Three Illinois Painters, Northern Illinois University.

2002— UPLEFT Gallery, Midwest Paint group, Terre Haute, IN

1990— 734 Gallery, Timothy John King & Walter Clemens King. Paintings, 2-person exhibit. Columbus, OH

1985— Alexander Hogue Gallery, Master of Arts Thesis Exhibition, Solo exhibit. University of Tulsa, OK

1980— Kemper Gallery, KCAI Senior Solo Exhibition. Kansas City, MO

S e l e c t G r o u p E x h i b i t i o n s

2006-2007— Illinois Institute of Art Faculty Annual. Schaumburg, IL

2006— Annual Faculty Exhibition, Gallery 214, Northern Illinois University. DeKalb, IL

2006— Loyola University Chicago Studio Art Faculty Biennale. LUMA, Loyola University Museum of Art

2006— NIU Art Museum Chicago Gallery, Annual MFA (group) Exhibition. DeKalb, IL

2006, 2005, 2004— Jack Olsen Memorial Gallery, Graduate Group Exhibition, Northern Illinois University.

2004— Wright State University Art Galleries, (National) Drawing From Perception V. Dayton, OH

2003— Campbell House Gallery, Spotlight on the Arts, Fox Valley Arts Association. Geneva, IL

1993— Barth Gallery Group Show. Columbus, OH

1991— 734 Gallery, Yearly Retrospective, Columbus Music Hall. Columbus, OH

1987— The Arkansas Art Center, Thirtieth Annual Delta Art Exhibition, Little Rock, AR

1986— Alexander Hogue Gallery, 20 Years of Helen. University of Tulsa. OK

1985— Alexander Hogue Gallery, Master of Arts Thesis Exhibition, University of Tulsa. OK

1984— Choteau Room/Westby Center Group Exhibition. University of Tulsa. OK

1984— Fields Gallery, (Collection Purchase) Tulsa, OK

1982, 83, 84— Alexander Hogue Gallery, Annual Herbert Gussman, University of Tulsa. OK. [‘83 Merit]

1979— Philbrook Art Center, Sixth Annual Midwestern Print & Drawing Competition. Tulsa, OK

U p c o m i n g E x h i b i t i o n s
international & national

July 2007— Walter King and Timothy King, Works on Paper. Maria Elena Kravetz Galeria de Arte. Cordoba, Argentina

September 2007— Midwest Paint Group Exhibition of Current Painting. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Terre haute, IN


Artist Publications

Gabriel Laderman 2005
Post Abstract Figuration: Paintings by the Midwest Paint Group

These artists, unlike other American figurative painters, are not involved in ironic comments about art or life. They believe in the forms and motifs, which they deal with on a daily basis, and wish to give the observer the same, intense, felt emotion, that they experienced in the process of making these paintings. They might all be called expressionists, but the earlier artists to whom their works relate are all formally intense as well as intensely expressive. Such artists as Soutine, Vlaminck, Roualt, Marquet, and Matisse (especially of the Nice period) come to mind.
----During my teaching days from about 1965 to 1995, I and a number of my colleagues in other MFA programs throughout the country (Yale, Boston University, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, the Parsons School) were aware that the Kansas City Art Institute undergraduate painting program was the strongest in the country. All of these artists, either directly or indirectly are connected with it. The painting faculty consisted of Wilbur Neiwald (chairman), Ron Slowinski, Stanley Lewis, Lester Goldman and Michael Walling. Wilbur's first influential style was as an abstract painter influenced by earlier Mondrian. Later on he became quite figurative and was influenced by Cezanne and Corot. Ron Slowinski was an abstract painter throughout his tenure at the school. Stanley Lewis' most important teachers included Nicholas Carone, a Hofmann student, as well as Leland Bell whose early style was profoundly influenced by Arp. Lester Goldman spent a good part of his life as a post abstract figurative painter, himself, before he returned to abstraction, Michael Walling had a typical art school education (with design courses) but seems never to have left figuration (in the Nice Matisse sense) behind.
----The artists grouped here, show the evidence of their education. They are perhaps more generally committed to the motif and the kind of forming which develops the motif into a painting full of all the joys of abstraction, but in place in a landscape or figure composition. They do not turn their backs on 20th century modernism, but they can use it to step back into previous centuries and learn from constructional artists, there, too. The influence of Chardin, Corot, and the Venetians, the Dutch, and many others can be felt, and is being profitably used in their work, as well. They do represent the potential future which cares about the past and its values and cares about communicating intense emotions to the viewer. This is an unusual show by a very special group of artists. It requires your attention because it is unlike most figurative work seen in galleries, today. You need to concentrate on the experience of each painting and get into its world of forming and emotion. If you do this you will receive the wonderful gifts of these artists' fully formed emotional view of the forms, light, and color, the drama of nature.

Timothy King shows the influence of Fauve and Expressionist painters. French style expressionists, only, of course, because he is not only intensifying an experience, it is an experience with rich formal as well as emotional content. The influence of Andre Derain of the 1920s and 30s can be felt, as well as of the work of Leland Bell. Looking through them one can also see the influence of Corot, Courbet, and Constable. He seems, thus far, primarily a landscape painter. is intense reaction to the motif is played back by his paintings for us. Through his brush stroke and his inspiration, which together create the space and forms, the over all rhythm, we are meant to experience his ecstasy in the landscape.

Gabriel Laderman on Art

"I called the show "Post Abstract Figuration." The artists
Philip Hale, Bob Brock, Barbara Lea, Mike Neary, Timothy King and David Rich; had this in common, they were very well prepared to see and feel the abstract construction in nature as they painted."

Richard LaPresti II.
Nov 14, 2006

Actually, it is important to separate Richard from Cezanne, too. Recently I wrote an essay for a show of work by several Midwestern artists. I called the show "Post Abstract Figuration." The artists
Philip Hale, Bob Brock, Barbara Lea, Mike Neary, Timothy King and David Rich; had this in common, they were very well prepared to see and feel the abstract construction in nature as they painted. Their training was quite modernist, yet they used it to help realize the motif, and not depart from it. Richard has been doing this since at least 1963. He is thus a member of an older generation at work in the same way. The Midwestern painters all had some contact with people like Wilbur Neiwald, Stanley Lewis, Lester Goldman and Michael Wallin, all of whom themselves went through abstraction on the way to a figurative style. When I went to school in 1952 no self respecting young artist could work in other than an abstract style[and in Lester's case, back again]. After AE gave us carte blanche to go off on our own, as the artists of that generation had done, we found abstraction to limiting a field to remain in. Too many things had been cut off and patented by too many good artists. It seemed as though the greatest area for freedom and personal development would be in working from the motif and trying to realize it in painting. This is what Richard LaPresti tries to do. One more facet of his personality as exposed in his work needs stressing. He is a very passionate man. His paintings are, in fact meditative, but they also are full of passion. Passion for the floor, the walls, the people, their relationships, the air in the room - of course in his
interiors. And similar passion for the sky and the clouds and the air between us and them, and the land, the trees and foliage coating and sprouting from it and all of the buildings. He expresses his passion with his brush and the paints he chooses. This is sometimes why the intensity of colors is more than merely normative. The colors are exaggerated because they make more pictorial sense that way and because the exaggeration feels more right than reportage would feel. He is not reserved about his forming but full of zest and verve and passion. So we cannot discuss his color dispassionately as a constructive element, only; although, of course it is that, too.

So, there are at least two generations of such artists. Come to think of it, there are three. Originally Leland Bell, Al Kresch, Nell Blaine and Louis Matthiasdottir were also abstract painters. When they returned to figuration they did so with all the intelligence which had informed their abstract paintings. Unlike Balthus or Derain all of them were abstract artists first, before they returned to the motif.

Art Blogs: Walter, King[Walter King Artblog Headlines]

"Painting: A Silent World"
Date Published: 2007-03-03 - Time: 14:20:46
By Walter King Mar 3, 07

(This title is modified from the term “silent kingdom of paint” coined by Virginia Woolf)

I love quotes-- these little sound bites taken out of context because they have a life of their own. They are like little paper airplanes that one can fold from the larger bit of writing and sail through our group consciousness. Often times they seem to sum things up nicely. Or pose a question one might not have considered on ones own. It is much like making a painting or drawing in which a certain fact seems more important than some other fact. So one is erased and the other emphasized.

Somewhere I read Virginia Wolfe’s little snippet about “the silent world of paint” and it just hit me that a painting IS silent. Not mute. But silent in it’s mechanics of unfolding before your eyes, heart and mind. There are no blaring sounds, no birds chittering, no one screaming, no sudden movements, no flashing lights…except maybe in the viewers soul. It is a silent kingdom in which one is allowed to sort their own thoughts, query the image or themselves and reach their own conclusions. I sometimes compare it to prayer in which God and I have a conversation. I posit a scenerio and even as I begin to make my query I begin to understand what it really is I'm considering. God is often heard between the lines, in the silences.

“We need to try to regain the the hidden logic of realism
once more. This logic is, one discovers, a metaphor
for the recursive boundary between painter and the
subject. The more intuited convexity and physicality are
in stark contrast to our contemporary photo centric,
cropped off and flat boxy world view. Into a painting I
express kinesthesia. My painting is about the
stereoscopic compressions, the peripheral spatial
expansions, the anamorphic distortions and the hidden position of the observer and those aspects integral with human feeling. I paint from that internal sense
of a meta-reality our total visual system provides.”

Tim King

Tim is my brother, also a painter. I know my brothers ideas as if they were the back of my own hand. He and I have talked many nights until dawn about what art is and is not. We’ve had knock down dragged out arguments about realism. Actually we are not so far apart on the subject as we sometimes sound. The reality is, from my point of view, that it doesn’t exist except as the formal elements of the medium. In two dimensions you have the basic geometry of point, line, shape, texture, tone and color. Those are the realities of two dimensions. We speak of them as abstract elements, building blocks that in themselves have no meaning yet they do have meaning. They give movement, kinetic energy, tensile quality, measurement and proportion, and even a sense of space and light from which form is intuited. Tim is right in that it is about the boundary between the artist and the reality he sees. Vision is the way across that boundary, the way through the looking glass.

"Depth in a pictorial plastic sense is not created by the arrangement of objects one after another toward a vanishing point, in the sense of Renaissance perspective, but on the contrary by the creation of forces in the sense of push and pull."

“The Search for the Real and Other Essays” [1948]) Hans Hofmann

Then, if you wish, come the illusions … lovely, rhythmical, poetic, convincing, emotional, mathematical and silent representations of the objects we know from the real world. But they are only signs for those objects and as such are metaphors. In this I’m sure he agrees. I know he agrees. The real world is out there where we all live breathing the same air, bathed in the same light, held down by the same gravity. Have you seen the wind? You only see it move the leaves of the tree when it passes. This silent world within meets the raucous world without…it is the “push pull” of our sense of existence where our inner self reaches out to touch the outer reality we all hold in common.

"We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are. ~Anais Nin"

In these last two centuries we’ve allowed photography and video to define reality for us as if a mechanical vision is enough. But a good photographer knows better. A good photographer knows that much is done in the dark room, well, now it is done in photo shop. And there the photographer becomes a painter. There is so ...

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