'Outer Space' (1964), Oil and acrylic on canvas 72 1/16 x 54 1/8 inches. Courtesy of Kayne Griffin.

‘Falling’ by Kiki Kogelnik @ Kayne Griffin

July 27, 2021

Kayne Griffin was gracious enough to exhibit the pseudo-psychedelica of a mid-century artist Kiki Kogelnik, most renowned for her pop-artistry. The expansive imaginary elements to her gaping canvases is something befitting for contemporaneity and the smorgasbord of scintillating imagery which seeks to extend the mind of the subject beyond the quotidian. And yet, her compositions are not dangerous to the point of irritability in the efforts. In a word, Ms. Kogelnik, more than fifty years ago, moves us to imagine without desperate vanity which can appear jarring when confronting the anxieties of appearing novel.


The keystone artwork, Outer Space, situating itself in a formidable 72×54 inches, presents the subject with the flirtations of extraterrestrial traversing, but with a healthy forgetfulness of the voided night which less than a decade later human astronauts penetrated. The repetitions in the background can be reminiscent of celestial orbs, but are constructed in such a way they successfully move our imaginary concept of the heaven to something more cosmically vivid. Ms. Kogelnik’s playfulness with space, and the motion of the human bodies in this ostensible chasm of eternal movement, further delights in expanding our own perception of physical grounding – indeed, it is a poetical depiction of the weightlessness of being bound to Outer Space. Yet what may have been given a sense of forlorn marooning is uplifted towards the sumptuous with the astute layering of colors to present our eyes in the foreground with a dominant sense of succulent fertility with naval orange painted on feminine pink, affirming this motion to be harmoniously principled.


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