Kent Dorn (b. 1977, South Carolina) is known for narrative paintings that possess a distinctive tactile quality. His scenes are a personal interpretation of the sublime, evoked through idyllic wooded worlds inspired by 19th-century American landscape painting, 70s and 80s horror films, and hippie culture. The landscapes rendered in his paintings are metaphorical spaces in which characters wander through in search of a revelatory experience. Dorn’s response to the natural world takes cues from artists such as visionary watercolorist Charles Burchfield and German Romantic landscape painter, Caspar David Friedrich. The large-scale graphite drawings initially evolved from studies for his paintings, and now consume his studio practice. “I create drawings that often blur the lines of dream/reality, image/materiality, and creation/destruction. For me, the process of making is paramount, as I’m interested in how materials and the act of manifesting an image give rise to its meaning. When I work, drawing is a place where I can lose myself. It’s a metaphorical space - a place for escape and potentially even transformation.” –Kent Dorn
Kent Dorn lives and works in Houston. He received his BFA from Anderson College (1999) and his MFA from the University of Houston (2005). He is represented by McClain Gallery and has shown throughout Texas and in New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Copenhagen. In 2020, his drawings were included in Target Texas: Drawn Worlds at the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times and has been featured in New American Paintings (Cover, editors pick Issue No.102), Artlies, and Gulf Coast Literary Journal among others. His work is included in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s permanent collection.