Ray Kass Exhibition at Mary Baldwin University’s Hunt Gallery

March 14, 2000

Ray Kass will exhibit his recent paintings in a show titled “Smoke & Water” in Mary Baldwin University’s Hunt Gallery from March 20 to April 7. An opening reception will be held for the artist on Wednesday, March 29, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Kass, professor of art at Virginia Tech, is a nationally recognized painter and art writer. His work is in numerous public and private collections across the country and his paintings have been widely exhibited. Kass has been represented by the Allan Stone Gallery and Schmidt-Bingham Gallery in New York City, the Franz Bader Gallery and Osuna Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, VA, as well as many others. His publications include numerous reviews, articles, and catalogues including Morris Graves: Vision of the Inner-Eye, John Cage: New River Watercolors, and Glenn Berry: Recent Paintings.

“Although I feel that my painting directly responds to the environments that I work in, I have only intermittently painted landscape with the objective of achieving representational or ‘realistic’ images. In fact, I have often made representational depictions of specific places after I have made many non-pictorial works in the same locale. This particular development reverses the usual assumption that ‘abstraction’ develops from the confirmed experience of the study of ‘realism,'” said Kass of his work.

Over a period of more than 25 years, Ray Kass’ out-of-doors water-media paintings of the natural world have developed from representational images of favorite locations in California, New England, and Virginia toward nonobjective and more conceptual works. Although abstract, his recent paintings are carefully derived from drawings and life-studies from nature, and attempt to represent the processes of nature at work rather than function as pictorial description.

Kass is also the founder and director of the Mountain Lake Workshop, a community-based art project that explores contemporary ideas and theory in the context of collaboration and the customs, environmental resources, and technology of the New River Valley and the Appalachian region. Artists who have participated in past workshops include folk artist Howard Finster, Japanese sculptor and minimalist Jiro Okura, and the late avant-garde composer, writer and artist John Cage.

Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally-recognized artists. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the college’s academic year.