Taking my cues from potent acts of nature: cells rapidly dividing, the searing effect of wind, roots pushing through earth, I employ a range of materials to explore form in both two and three dimensions. As I move freely between methods— from carving marble, slate, wood or insulation board to following the flow of ink or pencil on paper— I discover how best to articulate the hypnotic effect of specific natural phenomena, while also gaining a heightened awareness of positive and negative space.
In my drawings, I am particularly attracted to hexagonal shapes that can be manipulated into cubes or flattened into endless nets through a subtle shift in mark-making. My immersion in this accretion of lines is meditative and spontaneous; I begin near the center of the page and expand to its outermost edge.
By contrast, my sculpture is primarily focused on carving or subtracting material to reveal a hidden structure. I pierce slabs of marble, pieces of slate or laminated plywood to allow holes of light to permeate the form. Though the act of carving is nearly the opposite of 'building' shapes in my works on paper, the two pursuits inform one another.
About Michael Kukla
Born in Prague, Czech Republic, MIchael Kukla moved to the US in 1971. He studied painting at Castleton State College in Vermont, where he received his BFA; and sculpture at Hochshule der Kuenste in Berlin, Germany. He has shown in the US and Europe and was featured live on Czech TV as the first American artist to exhibit in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia since the end of world war II. Among his many commissions for sculpture, Michael was hired by Apple Computer to create marble pedestals for the full line of Apple computers in the year 1992.