Studio Insights: Andrew Kaufman
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Studio Insights: Andrew Kaufman


Andrew Kaufman is one of the featured artists in our current exhibition, LINES & LAYERS, closing October 4, 2019. Kaufman is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Grinnell College and he considers himself a convergent artist, letting idea dictate medium, which has led to a multiplicity of mediums that include video, sound, sculpture, painting and digital print. The multi-media nature of his work is precisely why we chose to include him with Susan Chrysler White and Tim Frerichs. All three artists are not only professors, but also consistently incorporate a variety of techniques, processes, and media in each piece they create. 

Double Andrew, panoramic capture of Kaufman in his studio editing video and sampling sound 

O-L: To create your artwork, you make use of many traditional artistic tools but also incorporate newer technologies that some may say are unconventional in artistic practices. Can you talk about what interests you in mixing the old and new in unexpected ways and maybe where that interest stems from?

AK: Traditional, non-traditional, new-media, sound– It is all new to me because I am in the process of learning. Once I figure out how to use and control ‘new’ media, I love folding it into ongoing processes. For instance, the silver-point drawings currently at Olson-Larsen are created using a parallel process as the Funeral Flower drawings/paintings. I have been experimenting with silver point for four years, and just now put it together in a form that I value.

Detail shots of Abstract Geography (Iris) 1 & 2, Silverpoint on prepared rag paper, mounted to aluminum, unvarnished to encourage oxidation

O-L: The subject matter of your framed paintings and your video installations are the same, funeral flower arrangements. Do you often take one theme and expand on it and translate it through multiple media? Do you end up liking one result over another? 

AK: I love doing series of artworks. It produces a sustained investigation, and ample time for learning while not locking me into the burden of endless repetition.  And it feels very natural to take an idea and experimenting with process and material, and scrutinizing the resulting forms. I really like the forms for different reasons; in the case of the Funeral Flower series in video and paint, the paintings offer an immediacy, surface, and stasis unique from the videos.   

Untitled Funeral Flowers 3 & 2, Paint and ink on prepared paper

O-L: It has been interesting observing how gallery visitors engage with your video installations. Typically people will either walk right on by and just give it a passing glance, or they will immediately pick up the headphones and watch, captivated for several minutes. What is your hope in how people engage with your videos?

AK: I am a terrible museum goer, because I want to run through the galleries and see, rather than slowly experiencing each work and it is hard for me to not be resentful of time-based artworks that demand time to unfold. For this reason I am interested in non-narrative time based work in which I can drop in and out without running the risk of missing a critical narrative component of the work. The videos and sounds I create are non-narrative, endlessly looping glitch pieces, and might be hard for some people to experience- I personally love the quick fleeting distortions and non-rhythmic sounds. What do I hope? I don’t have expectations of time spent.

O-L: What’s next for you? Do you have any new projects in the works that you are excited about?

AK: I have upcoming shows at Central College in Pella, and over at Legion Arts in Cedar Rapids. I am geeking out on time lapse photography and video, and how this process compresses time and makes it visible. I plan on making more site-specific time lapses during my upcoming sabbatical.


Be sure to visit the gallery by October 4th to see Andrew, Susan, and Tim's artwork on the walls. Our next exhibition, WOMEN'S WORK will feature eight talented women artists and will open Friday, October 11 from 5-9pm on Valley Junction Gallery Night. Join us for a fun evening of art, food, and friends!


09/17/2019 3:03 PM |Add a comment |Comments (3)
your artwork are too good buddy

tom ronnie | | | 04/25/2020 3:41 AM
Brilliant information!

Thanks for sharing it. It was interesting.

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