Ken Bortman Here
Time & Location
About The Event
“Ken Bortman Here!” is a phrase many of us at Project Onward are familiar with, as it is the endearing and distinctive way Ken announces himself over the phone and whenever necessary. If you talk to him long enough, you will almost certainly get to hear an original joke with a thoughtfully relevant and playful pun or punchline by the end of the conversation. The nature of Ken’s humour mirrors his approach to life and his artistic practice: an exploratory, thoughtful, and playful processing of the world around him.
Ken’s creative process is lengthy but light hearted. He spends much time staring at and contemplating his works in progress with a hot cup of coffee in hand, carefully considering his next move. Most of his recent works seem to be motivated by his musings and observations. He starts with simple, playful line drawings and develops the ideas that emerge into greater concepts and compositions, often making ample use of the photocopier. His sculptural works are a clear exploration of materials and tangibility.
Bortman received his BFA with a focus on painting and printmaking from The School of the Art Institute in 1979, and later moved to New York City to be a part of the Greenwich Village art scene. It was there that he began collecting scrap wood and other found materials for art making.
In this celebratory retrospective of Ken’s work, we showcase a cohesive selection of his mixed media paintings and sculptures. His distinctive, almost child-like color palette, his keen eye for composition, playful ideas, and decades of expertise come through in every piece.