Born in 1944 in NYC, Kerner attended the Art Students League from 1964-66 where he studied figurative drawing. Living and working at the Chelsea Hotel during the late 60's and early 70's, he emerged out of the explosive art movement that defined his generation. While living at the Chelsea he studied with influential artist Moses Soyer. In 1968 he received a grant in painting from the NEA. Since then his paintings have been exhibited in museums, galleries and collections throughout the world. His work has been embraced for its originality, vitality and generosity of spirit.
ARTIST'S STATEMENT... Most of my pictures contain specifically human references that are transformed and held at a stage distant from reality. They are sustained partly by a conception of life in terms of color and technique, but also by translation into ritual forms. I am involved with this type of painting that can only be produced by pure spontaneity. As it springs from life, like pure music, my work is free of any literary content. And I am deeply interested in the equilibrium and tension of the natural forces moving behind life.
The use of space on my canvas is mostly sculptural, rather than pictorial , in the traditional sense of painting. The work is compositionally frontal in its displacement of space. The act of painting is a semi-religious discipline and everything that I feel and experience is unleased into my work.
I hope to re-affirm the essentially primitive nature of painting and to show an entirely new space charged with traces of the subconscious imagination; to penetrate beneath the surface of nature, and to re-establish and paint the true lines of the world.
'To Be the Light' By Stephen Kerner