I am interested in identifying a visual language at the intersection found in the writings of D.T. Suzuki, Agnes Martin and Ad Reinhardt. The material outcome of this investigation is a variety of erased graphite drawings and small painted works. Concepts that inform the work include structure, negation, emptiness, liminal space, bearing witness and transcendence. I keep the materials as simple as possible. The complex subtleties found in minimal and purely abstract work feel like a puzzle with potential, a particular energy beyond words. One’s attention and time is needed to activate the puzzle. It is not necessarily something that is answered. I am often thinking about what it is to engage with and to feel that edge.


Born and raised in Chicago, I arrived to live in the West in 2000; a plan I made after my first trip in 1980. My work is in private collections, shown locally, nationally and has been published by Phaidon Press. I am a recipient of NEA and NEH grants. My graduate work was completed at the University of Chicago; my undergraduate work completed at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

I have taught for the Art Education Department of School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Art Depts. of Colorado State University, the University of Wyoming and Naropa University.  After serving as Lead Faculty for Visual and Media Arts in CADHu (Department of Creative Arts Design and Humanities) at Front Range Community College in Ft. Collins, Colorado, I have returned to my work as an adjunct faculty member which provides focused time for my research and studio practice. In addition, I have served as the Assistant Director for the Division of Continuing Studies (SAIC), Cultural Enrichment Manager for the Chicago Park District, the Communications Coordinator for the Wyoming Arts Council and Assistant Director of the Hatton Gallery at Colorado State University. I am a  resident artist at at Artworks Loveland

Contact: J.L.Kiessling (at) gmail.com