Ed Kerns: Interconnected
On view February 3 through April 16, 2022
Grossman Gallery, William Center for the Arts Lobby, Kirby Art Study Center

In 1980, a gifted young artist working in New York accepted an academic position at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. This may seem unremarkable at first glance, but with some context, it is truly noteworthy. The art world of that era was presided over by a powerful coterie of personages wielding influence and respect. An up-and-coming painter during this time would be thrilled to have the attention from any one of these monarchs, and yet, this young artist had this coveted attention. In addition, he also had a critically acclaimed exhibition career in well-respected New York galleries. And yet, in a time before the internet when location meant significantly more than it does now, this young artist made the pivotal and insightful decision to leave New York. Seeing that perhaps many of these emperors were indeed without clothes, this artist turned to forge a new kind of art: one that synthesizes the intellectual and the aesthetic; one that trades ego for a like-minded community that nurtures an ecology of ideas far more impactful than any single individual.

Four decades later, the evidence is clear: Ed Kerns has sustained a remarkably fruitful, creative practice that has been both visually compelling and conceptually innovative. His work deftly weaves aesthetics acquired from many years immersed in artistic practice and interconnects with fascinating cutting-edge concepts from the sciences. Long before the art and science connection became fashionable, his work was in essence moving toward the concept of consilience or, a unity of knowledge. Also, in this light, he has connected and nurtured a significant community of interconnected artists, scientists, researchers, and writers who are revealing the role of a new kind of art that promotes a sustainable society.

Ed Kerns: Interconnected will celebrate the artist as he prepares to retire from Lafayette College in spring 2022 and will survey his four decades of creativity and interconnectivity.

Daniel Hill, Curator

The retrospective exhibition will take place at Grossman Gallery, Skillman Library, Rockwell Integrated Science Center, and the Kirby Art Study Center study room. Check back for program updates. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.