It’s no surprise that San Francisco born James Kroner should find ready inspiration in his native city’s streets and hilltop views, nor that his palette should favor the subtle greys so prevalent in that city’s ever-changing light. Kroner’s straightforward approach to painting combines an impressionist awareness of light with a solid representational foundation, based on years of drawing and sketchbook practice. As a result, his scenes glow with an ethereal vitality, yet remain firmly rooted in contemporary realism -- a calculated contrast that lies at the heart of Kroner’s work.
“To me, contrast is one of the most important things in painting,” he explains. “Not just between light and dark, but between ideas.” By contrasting hard edges with soft, rendered areas with abstract, and neutral values with saturated hues, Kroner captures the energy and emotion that set the tone each work. The energies of our environment, wind, sun, fog, rain, and snow, are key subjects in the paintings.
“It’s not just a matter of sitting down to paint a landscape. The landscape is only the jumping-off point from where the artist must search
to make a discovery, and then the language of the painter can emerge.” Kroner is continually drawn to the energy in nature, a force and a presence that inspires him to work. Above all, he recognizes that for him each work must begin with an emotion.
Energy in Nature is the latest in the Academy of Art University’s Emerging Artist Series, on exhibit at the university’s Atelier Gallery from February 5 to March 18. Although this is James Kroner’s first solo exhibition, he has exhibited regularly since 2006 and completed numerous commissioned works. While working towards his 2013 MFA in Painting at Academy of Art University, he received several awards and scholarships, including First Place for landscape painting in the 2010 Annual Spring Show. Kroner is currently scheduled for a solo exhibition at Christian Daniels Gallery in July 2014.