Stacks and stacks of studio books, different from home books, line the edges of my workspace. The book collecting got serious after graduate school; I think the notion kicked in that I was now and forever going to be responsible for my own education. A library of important texts, monographs and source material was the goal. The later is what is mostly kept at the studio. Source materials books can be just about anything, and really a catch all to buy whatever dingy black spine or pulpy mess that might be gleaned from a flea market, garage sale, thrift store, or dumpster. In recent years the book buying has slowed down considerably, partly due to hitting maximum capacity, the endless supply of imagery online and a reawakened love of libraries.
On the day that I got the email invite for Plunder the Influence, I had just finished a large colored pencil drawing called Mound City; I was ready to mount it for framing. The piles of books in my studio that serve as source material, reference, and inspiration also function as the weighty objects that they are – quite literally. Today I would be using my books to weigh down my drawing while the linen tape mounting adhered.
The books and magazines weighing down my drawing were grabbed randomly; there is no particular order or meaning to this pile. Some of them are books that I have spent a lot of time with and others may have only been opened the day it was purchased, but they are ALL there for me. I think of these books as holding powerful energy; the potentiality of these books is brimming, it is up to me to cull the usefulness from them. Whether that is the power to smash something down or bring something out in my intellect that I could not have imagine without them.
bio: Michael Krueger is a father, an artist and a teacher. He was born in Kenosha Wisconsin. His family moved to South Dakota in 1970 and he spent his childhood years in Sioux Falls. These formative years in the West cultivated a fondness and curiosity for the history of Westward Expansion and the epic struggles that were cast on the Great Plains. In 1990 Michael earned a BFA from the University of South Dakota and in 1993 he received an MFA from the University of Notre Dame. In 1995, Michael began teaching at the University of Kansas.
Michael’s creative research has taken him all over the globe from Asuncion, Paraguay to the United Arab Emeritus, to Scotland, England, Belgium, France and Italy. He has given lectures and workshops at over 80 venues including, Cranbrook Academy of Art, City College of New York, Edinburgh College of Art, Instituto Superior de Arte, Asunción, Paraguay, School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Texas, Austin.
He has recently had solo exhibitions at Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN & Sunday L.E.S., New York, NY. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY, Ambacher Contemporary, Munich, Germany, Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, the International Print Center New York, New York, NY, Adam Baumgold, New York, NY, Sears-Peyton Gallery, New York, NY, Davidson Gallery, Seattle, WA and the Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA. Krueger’s work is included in over 60 public collections including; the New York Public Library, the Museo Del Barro, Asunción, Paraguay, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, City of Seattle, WA, Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Musuem of Art - Rhode Island School of Design, and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Estate in Charlottesville, VA.