Karen Gunderson

Karen Gunderson was born in Racine, Wisconsin in 1943. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin and both her M.A. in Painting and M.F.A. in Intermedia from the University of Iowa. As an artist, Gunderson paints moonlit seascapes in primarily black oils, creating a miraculous sense of depth with a monochromatic palette. In person, light bounces off of the subtly textured surface of her works, creating luminosity similar to the reflections of light on actual water. In describing the importance of black to her artistic vision, she has stated, “By using only blacks, I'm forcing the focus onto the brush strokes reflected by the light. I paint a form, an image with black paint, and the light makes them visible, like magic... When I paint an object, the brush follows the interior contours of the image. It is as if I am tracing the surface of the volume of the image with my brush... feeling it in space. The final effect produced depends upon the angle of light refraction and the position of the viewer; when you move, the picture changes.” She has also worked in photography and occasionally paints images of clouds, mountains, constellations, and the moon. Gunderson’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows and is included in many public and private collections across the United States.